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Ukraine hopes for settlement talks at the weekend — Ukraine’s UN envoy

January 30, 2015, 21:09 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

Donbas envoys earlier said they were leaving Minsk but would probably return on Saturday

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© Stepan Petrenko/TASS

UNITED NATIONS, January 30. /TASS/. Kiev is getting ready for a meeting of the Contact Group on resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine and is hopeful that Minsk talks will take place this weekend, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Yuri Sergeyev told a news conference at the UN headquarters on Friday.

The spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said earlier on Friday that a document including key provisions on a ceasefire and weaponry pullback is being worked out for the Contact Group meeting due to be held on Saturday, January 31.

"Tomorrow’s talks are likely to be focusing on the final document prescribing how implementation of the Minsk accords could be put back on track," Alexey Makeyev said adding: "Everyone is engaged in readying the document."

"Contents and concrete agreements are crucial," he said. "It is also crucial that all those who put their signatures under the documents and all those who can shoulder the responsibility would attend the meetings."

"We are very hopeful that this meeting will take place on Saturday, all the parties will attend it and agreements will be reached on how to implement the Minsk protocol and memorandum, on how to move ahead towards truce, to withdraw artillery, to exchange prisoners of war and etc.," he said adding "all these themes are principal for the Ukrainian side."

Representatives of the parties to the conflict were expected in Minsk on Friday. DPR and LPR (self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics respectively) representatives arrived in the Belarusian capital but Kiev's representative didn't show up.

Donbas envoys said they were leaving Minsk but would probably return on Saturday.

OSCE representative ready for talks any time

Special representative of the European security organization OSCE in the Contact Group for settling the conflict in southeastern Ukraine, Heidi Tagliavini, is ready for talks in the Minsk format at any time, says a statement the OSCE published at its website.

"The Special Representative of the Chairman-in-Office to the Trilateral Contact Group, Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini, wishes to emphasize that her representatives have been waiting in Minsk since yesterday morning in order to prepare for a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group with representatives from certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk (the way the OSCE refers to the self-proclaimed unrecognized Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics - TASS)," the statement said.

"Their efforts to contact these representatives were not successful," it went on. "Ambassador Tagliavini and her representatives continue to be ready for a meeting at any time, and they continue being actively working for this purpose."

"The Chairperson-in-Office, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia H.E. Ivica Dacic also wishes to underline the importance of holding this Meeting and reiterates his call to convene it as soon as possible," the statement said.

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