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MINSK, June 2. /TASS/. Representatives of the Contact Group on the Ukraine crisis and its working subgroups will meet again on June 16 and 23, a senior official from east Ukraine’s self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic said.
Vladislav Deinego, the Luhansk republic’s envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group that includes senior representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), told the Luhansk Information Center news agency on Tuesday that "according to the previously agreed plan, the meetings of the Contact Group and the subgroups are scheduled for June 16 and 23" but change of dates "cannot be ruled out".
Participants in talks seeking to ease the conflict in Ukraine’s east agreed earlier that four working subgroups formed as part of the Trilateral Contact Group would hold negotiations simultaneously and their meetings would be followed by discussions between representatives of the Contact Group.
Tuesday’s meetings in the Belarussian capital Minsk brought together representatives of three working subgroups - on security, humanitarian and political issues. The subgroup for economic affairs did not gather, a diplomatic source told TASS.
The negotiations were held behind closed doors and were expected to focus on issues of de-escalation of tensions in southeast Ukraine’s village of Shirokino, prisoner exchanges and economic recovery in the country’s southeast. Participants were also due to discuss ways of conducting local elections in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and necessary changes to the Ukrainian law.
Establishment of working subgroups is part of agreements reached by leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France in Minsk on February 12 calling for a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and militia forces.
The peace deal struck in Minsk also sought pull-back of heavy weapons from the front line by at least 15 kilometers (9 miles), prisoner release and agreement for international observers to monitor the truce.
Among the terms of the deal was a commitment to intensify the work of the Trilateral Contact Group through "the establishment of working groups on the implementation of relevant aspects of the Minsk agreements."