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KHARKOV, December 6. /TASS/. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said that a next meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine was likely to be held in the Belarusian capital Minsk on Tuesday, December 9.
“A preliminary agreement has been reached on the Minsk meeting to be held on December 9,” Poroshenko said while visiting the Kharkov region on Saturday. “Ukraine sets a goal to approve a schedule for implementing the Minsk agreements.”
Earlier in the day, Vice-speaker of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin has suggested that a next meeting on peace settlement in Ukraine’s east should be held in the Belarusian capital Minsk on December 12.
Poroshenko said the first steps aimed to reach a ceasefire in Donbass should be the withdrawal of heavy weapons and hardware. The mission of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) should facilitate transparency of the process.
On September 3 Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested his seven-item plan to settle the crisis in Ukraine. Two days later on September 5 a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine was held in Minsk when the sides adopted a 12-item protocol on peace settlement in Ukraine, with agreements on a ceasefire and exchange of prisoners.
On September 20 the Contact Group on Ukraine adopted a memorandum on implementing a ceasefire. The nine-item document includes a ban on all weapons, a withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement and the setting up of a buffer zone of 15 kilometres. OSCE envoy Heidi Tagliavini, Ukraine’s former president Leonid Kuchma, Russia’s Ambassador to Kiev Mikhail Zurabov, DPR Prime Minister Aleksandr Zakharchenko and the head of Lugansk People’s Republic /LPR/, Igor Plotnitsky, put their signatures under the document which also entrusts the OSCE with a task of controlling implementation of the agreements.