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Kiev experts talks in Minsk to lead up to ceasefire, withdrawal of forces

January 31, 2015, 19:10 UTC+3 KIEV
The Contact Group for settling the armed civil conflict in eastern Ukraine began another round of talks in Minsk
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KIEV, January 31. /TASS/. Ukraine hopes agreements on ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy armaments from the areas adjoining the contact line and completion of the exchange of prisoners of war will culminate the talks of the Contact Group for Ukraine, another round of which has begun in the Belarusian capital Minsk, Yevgeny Perebeinos, the official spokesman for the Foreign Ministry told the 112 TV channel here on Saturday.

"I can only says Ukraine is ready for these consultations and for a detailed discussion and it is set to make this round of talks bring concrete results, including a ceasefire, the beginning of a pullout of heavy armaments and completion of the exchange of prisoners of war," he said.

A well-specified plan of action had been drafted for the current meeting and the participants could sign it, Perebeinos said, adding: "Let's wait and see what the practical result will be."

The Contact Group for settling the armed civil conflict in eastern Ukraine began another round of talks in Minsk earlier on Friday.

Taking part in it are the former President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, who is believed to have been appointed the plenipotentiary representative to the consultations by the incumbent President, Pyotr Poroshenko, the plenipotentiary representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, Alexander Zakharchenko and Vladislav Deinego, the special envoy of the European security organization OSCE, Heidi Tagliavini, and the Russian Ambassador to Ukraine, Mikhail Zurabov, who acts as a mediator at the consultations.

The meeting was scheduled for Friday initially but was cancelled later as no representatives from Kiev had arrived.

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