”A meeting in this format is most likely to be held by the end of the week,” the source said.
Representatives from the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics /DPR and LPR, respectively/ also confirmed this information
Vladislav Deinego, the LPR’s representative at the talks, told TASS the two self-proclaimed republics had agreed for a Contact Group meeting on December 12. “Theoretically, tomorrow (December 9) was also considered as a possible day for such a meeting but no one seems to take any interest in our plans. Kiev has decided it will have talks tomorrow,” he said. “Well, let us see how they are going to have talks tomorrow without us.”
“The date agreed between the DPR and LPR is December 12,” he said. “The LPR is ready to take part in the talks on the agreed date.”
In his words, his republic’s leaders are analyzing Kiev’s latest actions in respect of Donbas.
“We are ready for talks at any minute. We will try to understand the logic of actions. For instance, a bill has been submitted to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) to rearrange the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. We are getting prepared and are scrutinizing the situation. I was seriously perplexed by today’s bills. On November 27 and 28, two bills were submitted on a special status. We are analyzing them,” Deinego said.“To achieve our goals, we are ready to work with anyone who can help reach the result,” he stressed.
Earlier on Monday, Denis Pushilin, the DPR’s envoy at the Minsk talks and deputy speaker of the DPR parliament, told journalists that the date of a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in Belarusian capital Minsk may be agreed today or tomorrow. “A Minsk meeting of the Contact Group will be held this week, but a concrete date will be announced after the agenda is agreed upon. A draft agenda is being debated, but fails to be agreed upon with Ukraine,” he said.
Pushilin noted that two issues to which Ukraine cannot give a clear-cut response remain a stumbling block. These issues are Kiev’s gradual lift of an economic blockade from war-torn Ukrainian industrial area Donbas and the laws on special status and amnesty. “As long as these issues are settled, the date of talks will be set immediately. This date will be probably announced today or in a few days,” he said.
Last week, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said December 9 could be a possible date for another meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine.
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire at OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe)-mediated talks on September 5 in Minsk. On September 20 in Minsk, the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE adopted a memorandum outlining the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5. The document contains nine points, including in particular a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibres of over 100 millimetres to a distance of 15 kilometres from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions. The document was signed by OSCE envoy Heidi Tagliavini, Ukraine’s former president Leonid Kuchma, Russia’s Ambassador to Kiev Mikhail Zurabov, DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko and the head of Luhansk People’s Republic Igor Plotnitsky.