MOSCOW, February 11. /TASS/. A Contact Group of Ukrainian, Russian and international officials will resume peace talks in the Belarus capital Minsk on Wednesday if Kiev is ready to respond to proposals made by representatives of east Ukraine’s self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, said Denis Pushilin, the Donetsk republic’s chief negotiator.
"It cannot be ruled out that the Contact Group will resume talks today [on Wednesday] morning," the Donetsk news agency quoted Pushilin as saying. "Everything will depend on readiness of other members of the Contact Group and, first of all, Ukraine to respond to our proposals," he said.
Vladislav Deinego, the negotiator from Luhansk, said that another meeting of the contact group, scheduled for February 11, would focus on proposals for a peace deal providing for "a set of political and military measures".
"We have handed over [to the members of the Contact Group] a draft protocol outlining a set of measures of both political and military character aimed at a peaceful settlement of the situation," Deinego said, noting that "documents based solely on military measures" proved "temporary".
"Achieving a stable peace is possible only through a political solution," he told the Luhansk Information Center news agency. "That’s why our project is based on a set of measures of political and military character," he added.
On Tuesday, a well-informed source told TASS that participants in the Contact Group meeting squared a scheme of withdrawal of heavy weapons, agreed a ceasefire regime and mechanisms of control to implement agreements reached. The parties also discussed future political structure of south-east Ukraine’s Donbas and local elections.
Talks in Minsk brought together Viktor Medvedchuk, special envoy for humanitarian issues and leader of Ukrainsky Vybor (Ukrainian Choice) public organization, and former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, both representing the Ukrainian side, alongside representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) special envoy to Ukraine, Heidi Tagliavini, and Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine, Mikhail Zurabov, who acted as a mediator.