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DONETSK, December 26. /TASS/. Plenipotentiary representative of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic at talks of the Contact Group on Ukrainian crisis settlement Denis Pushilin said that he did not receive an invitation for a next meeting in Belarusian capital Minsk yet.
“On Thursday [December 25], we agreed to co-ordinate statements for a meeting in Minsk and sent proposals to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). But at the present moment we have received neither a response to our draft statement nor an invitation to Minsk,” the Donetsk news agency quoted him as saying.
On Wednesday, December 24, the Contact Group had a meeting in the Belarusian capital that was “preliminary”, Pushilin said. The meeting lasted around five and a half hours.
Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, envoy from the Donetsk People’s Republic Pushilin, plenipotentiary representative of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic Vladislav Deinego, OSCE envoy in Ukraine Heidi Tagliavini and Russian Ambassador in Kiev Mikhail Zurabov participated in talks.
Later Donetsk and Lugansk republican leaders Igor Plotnitsky and Aleksander Zakharchenko said deals on captive swaps had been reached at these talks.
“At the present moment there is only one agreement to make 225-for-150 captive exchange,” Plotnitsky said.
This was earlier reported that one more meeting might be held in Minsk on December 26.
The Contact Group had first meeting in Minsk on September 5. Representatives of Kiev, south-east Ukrainian regions, the OSCE and Russia participated in the meeting. A peaceful settlement plan in highly volatile Ukrainian industrial area Donbass was adopted and a ceasefire deal was reached at talks.
Upon the results of the second meeting in Minsk on September 20 the Contact Group has adopted a memorandum for fulfilling the ceasefire regime. The 9-item document includes a ban for the use of all types of weapons, pullback of more than 100mm heavy weaponry 15 kilometres from the contact line by each side. The control over the enforcement of the document provisions was shouldered on the OSCE. OSCE envoy in Ukraine Heidi Tagliavini, former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, republican Donetsk Prime Minister
Aleksander Zakharchenko, Lugansk republican leader Igor Plotnitsky and Russian Ambassador in Kiev Mikhail Zurabov inked the memorandum.
The conflicting parties declared ‘the silence regime’ in the military operation zone in Donbass on December 9 to get back to the fulfilment of the Minsk peace deals. Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics said that the pullback of heavy weapons should start, captive exchange should be made and the region should be demilitarised.