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Russia against setting up subgroup on border issues as part of Ukraine Contact group

July 21, 2015, 12:36 UTC+3

Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin says he thinks such a subgroup would "hinder progress in other areas"

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© Konstantin Cherginsky/TASS

MOSCOW, July 21. /TASS/. Russia does not support the idea of setting up a new working subgroup on border issues as part of the Contact Group on the Ukraine crisis, Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told TASS on Tuesday.

"We are against that idea," Karasin said, adding that he believed such a subgroup would "hinder progress in other areas."

"Everything concerning the common border between Russia and Ukraine with regard to the crisis is outlined in the Minsk agreements," the diplomat recalled. He said the ceasefire deal reached in the Belarusian capital in February contained "a provision stating directly that all this should be the final step in the implementation of the Minsk agreements".

"After elections are held and as soon as the political process nears completion, we can talk about the border," Karasin said.

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 people’s militias.

The peace deal also sought pull-back of heavy weapons from the front line by at least 15 kilometres (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 Contact Group. Four subgroups, tasked with addressing political, security, economic and humanitarian issues, are expected to advance work by the Contact Group in activating elements of the Minsk deal.

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