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Talks of Contact Group in Minsk unscheduled for Friday — Belarusian Foreign Ministry

December 26, 2014, 12:35 UTC+3 MINSK
A spokesman for the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, Dmitry Mironchik said the negotiations will not be held today
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Russian Ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surikov, Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov, former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma in Minsk, Belarus

Russian Ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surikov, Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov, former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma in Minsk, Belarus

© AP Photo/ Sergei Grits

MINSK, December 26. /TASS/. Minsk will not be hosting on Friday another round of the Contact Group’s negotiations on the resolution of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Dmitry Mironchik, a spokesman for the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, said on Friday.

“There will be no negotiations of the Contact Group in Minsk today,” Mironchik said.

On Wednesday evening, Contact Group held a meeting in Minsk on resolving the conflict in Ukraine, which has killed 4,700 and displaced 1 million people. After the talks, the participants gave no comments to journalists.

The talks were attended by ex-Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, the representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics, Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego, and also Russia’s ambassador to Kiev Mikhail Zurabov and OSCE envoy Heidi Tagliavini.

Deinego later told TASS that the date for the next meeting remained unclear. Earlier reports said another round of talks could be held in Minsk on December 26. Pushilin told the Donetsk news agency it would be incorrect to reveal the results of the meeting until the next round of talks.

However, leaders of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, later said that the Wednesday round of talks in Minsk yielded an agreement on the prisoners exchange between the Kiev authorities and the self-proclaimed republics.

“As of today we have reached only one agreement, which is on the prisoners exchange under the ‘225 for 150’ formula,” Plotnitsky told journalists earlier.

In early September, representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics signed the Minsk Protocol, an agreement to halt the war in eastern Ukraine. Two weeks later, talks continued in Minsk and the sides adopted a memorandum which clarified the implementation of the protocol.

In particular, the document stipulates pulling heavy weaponry 15 kilometers back on each side of the contact line and banning offensive operations. However, the sides have failed to implement the majority of the nine-point document.

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