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Political subgroup on Ukraine crisis resumes talks in Minsk

September 23, 2015, 10:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The key issue on the agenda is an agreement to extend a pull-back of weapons in east Ukraine’s Donbas region to include tanks and smaller weapons systems
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Houses damaged during military operations in Donetsk region

Houses damaged during military operations in Donetsk region

© TASS/Valeriy Sharifulin

MOSCOW, September 23. /TASS/. The Contact Group’s political subgroup continued talks in the Belarusian capital on Wednesday on resolving the crisis in Ukraine’s south-east, the press service of Donetsk negotiator Denis Pushilin has said.

"The subgroup on political issues resumed talks in Minsk," a spokesperson said.

The key issue on the agenda is an agreement to extend a pull-back of weapons in east Ukraine’s Donbas region to include tanks and smaller weapons systems.

On Tuesday, the group focused on discussing the date for local elections in Donbas, the OSCE’s representative at the Contact Group talks, Martin Sajdik said.

"The discussion was mostly devoted to local elections, which should be held on February 21 next year. It turned out that despite the proposal, the elections will still be held on October 18 [in DPR] and November 1 [in LPR]," he said.

The diplomat said this is not in line with the Minsk peace agreements.

During the talks, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luansk People’s Republics presented to the Contact Group participants a plan-schedule of the terms for implementation of the political points of the Minsk accords, envisaging the vote in Donbas on February 21, 2016.

The self-proclaimed republics earlier said that Kiev does not meet the commitments under the Minsk agreements. The DPR and LPR decided "to implement the agreements unilaterally" and hold local elections on October 18 and November 1, respectively.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has warned that local elections without the coordination with Kiev can have "devastating consequences for the process of de-escalation in Donbass." Local elections in Ukraine are scheduled for October 25.

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