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Contacts between Kiev and Donbas on political issues insufficient — Lavrov

August 05, 2015, 17:00 UTC+3 KUALA LUMPUR

Those contacts take place only in the framework of Contact Group meetings and do not result in significant dialogue in full compliance with the Minsk agreements, the Russian Foreign Minister says

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Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© TASS/Ilya Pitalev

KUALA LUMPUR, August 5. /TASS/. Contact between Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk on political matters are insufficient, Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

"The most complicated issue is political process — constitutional reforms, Donbas special status, local election on the territory of the self-proclaimed republics," Lavrov said, commenting on results of meetings of Contact Group’s sub-groups on August 3-4. "All this, I will repeat it one more time, should be done in accordance with the Minsk agreements and in coordination with representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk," he added.

"To our great disappointment, direct contacts between Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk are obviously insufficient," Lavrov said. "They take place only in the framework of Contact Group meetings and do not result in significant dialogue in full compliance with the Minsk agreements," he added.

Lavrov expressed hope, however, that "this situation can be overcome." "I hope that this situation will be overcome in the nearest future, and that attempts to delay the implementation of commitments that are in line with the Package of measures from February 12, will not hamper [the sides] from reaching a result," the foreign minister stressed.

Minsk agreements on Ukraine

The Minsk accords were signed on February 12, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The Minsk accords envisage ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local elections in Donbas, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.

The Ukrainian forces and the self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.

Deal on weaponry withdrawal

The meetings of the Contact Group on settlement of the situation in Ukraine and sub-groups started on August 3 and continued into the night. However, the sides failed to reach an agreement on one of the most pressing issues — signing the document on gradual withdrawal of tanks, armored personnel carriers and weaponry of less than 100mm caliber from the contact line. The sub-group continue negotiations on Tuesday but no final deal was made.

The self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) envoy to Contact Group Vladislav Deinego said that the sub-group will present two versions of the document on weaponry withdrawal at the next meeting of the Contact Group on August 26. One version will outline disagreements on separate points of the document coordinated by the Contact Group. The second version will state Ukraine’s position "after it refused the coordinated version."

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