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MOSCOW, June 14. /TASS/. Recent intensive shelling of settlements in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) by Ukrainian troops might stem from Kiev’s plans to frustrate peace talks in Minsk planned for June 16, LPR representative in the Contact Group on Ukraine Vladislav Deinego said on Sunday.
"I do not exclude that Kiev is seeking to frustrate the meeting. But I am sure it will not happen and the Contact Group, as well as working subgroups, will meet next Tuesday in Minsk as scheduled," LugankInformCentre quoted him as saying.
Over the past 24 hours, Ukrainian troops have been shelling settlements in the LPR more intensively. Thus, on Saturday, one civilian was killed and another one was wounded in shelling in the town of Pervomaisk. About a dozen private houses were ruined and a gas pipeline was damaged in the town. On Sunday, Ukrainian troops opened artillery fire at the settlement of Zhelobok and Slavyanoserbsk’s suburbs.
According to earlier reports, three sectoral subgroups of the working group are expected to meet in Minsk on June 16, Apart from that, a Contact Group meeting is planned for that day as well.
The Minsk accords were signed on February 12, 2015 after 14-hour negotiations between the Normandy Four leaders (Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko) in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk. Concurrently, Minsk hosted a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukrainian settlement.
A 13-point Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk agreements in particular included an agreement on cessation of fire from February 15, withdrawal of heavy armaments, as well as measures on long-term political settlement of the situation in Ukraine, including a constitutional reform and decentralization in Ukraine and the establishment of working subgroups as priority tasks.
The subgroups focus on four areas: economic issues and restoration of facilities; refugees, internally displaced persons and humanitarian assistance; political issues; security issues.