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Donetsk republic negotiator to leave for Minsk January 15 for Contact Group talks

January 15, 2015, 4:35 UTC+3 DONETSK

The Contact Group is expected to gather in the Belarusian capital on January 16

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DONETSK, January 15. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic negotiator for the settlement in eastern Ukraine, Denis Pushilin, will leave for Minsk on Thursday to take part in the Contact Group talks.

The Contact Group is expected to gather in the Belarusian capital on January 16.

The Lugansk People’s Republic negotiator, Vladislav Deinego, said the agenda of the meeting will likely include the four previous issues - the pullout of artillery and rocket systems from the disengagement line in Donbass, the exchange of prisoners, the lifting of the economic blockade on Donbass and the coming into effect of the law on Donbass special status.

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on ceasefire and exchange of prisoners during OSCE-mediated talks on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk. The ceasefire took effect the same day but reports said it has occasionally been violated.

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.

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