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MOSCOW, September 07 /ITAR-TASS/. The Contact Group on Ukraine, which had its latest meeting in Minsk on Friday, may meet in an extended format at the end of next week, Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko said on Sunday.
“A preliminary agreement was to meet again in a span of seven to eight days,” he said in an interview with the Kommersant FM radio station. “They will voice their suggestions. According to preliminary agreements, it will be an extended meeting. The Ukrainian presidential staff will commission some people. So far, I do not know who it will be - the list is being agreed. In any case, Donetsk and Lugank will send [First Deputy Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic Andrei] Purgin and [speaker of the Supreme Council of the Lugansk People’s Republic Alexei] Karyakin.”
Zakharchenko said he would decide whether to take part in the next Contact Group meeting after he learned who would represent Ukraine. He also said that Russia’s Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov was also expected to take part in the extended meeting.
At its meeting in the Belarusian capital city Minsk on Friday, the Contact Group on the resolution of the conflict in Ukraine adopted a peace plan and a ceasefire agreement. Attending the meeting were officials from Kiev, representatives of the embattled south-eastern regions of Ukraine, officials from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Russia.
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a peace plan for settling the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
It calls for ending active offensive operations by armed forces, armed units and militia groups in southeast Ukraine in the Donetsk and Lugansk areas;
withdrawing Ukrainian armed forces units to a distance that would make it impossible to fire on populated areas using artillery and all types of multiple launch rocket systems;
allowing for full and objective international monitoring of compliance with the ceasefire and monitoring of the situation in the safe zone created by the ceasefire;
excluding all use of military aircraft against civilians and populated areas in the conflict zone;
organising the exchange of individuals detained by force on an ‘all for all’ basis without any preconditions;
opening humanitarian corridors for refugees and for delivering humanitarian cargoes to towns and populated areas in Donbass - Donetsk and Lugansk regions;
and making it possible for repair brigades to come to damaged settlements in the Donbass region in order to repair and rebuild social facilities and life-supporting infrastructure and help the region to prepare for the winter.