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DPR envoy: No optimism after Contact Group meeting

November 23, 2016, 21:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW

An envoy says Kiev has been blocking other negotiators’ initiatives

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MOSCOW, November 23. /TASS/. The talks, which the Contact Group entrusted to find a peace solution to the conflict in Donbass held on Wednesday, do not inspire optimism as Ukraine is unwilling to find a compromise on any issue, Plenipotentiary Representative of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic at the Minsk talks Denis Pushilin said.

"I cannot be optimistic after today’s meeting as Ukraine does not meet us halfway on practically all issues," Pushilin said, aired by the Rossiya’24 television channel. "Moreover, we were hopeful that the situation would start changing after the US (presidential) election. Unfortunately, there have been no changes yet."

Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) just help mediate the negotiations. Therefore, progress could be achieved "through a direct dialog between the warring sides, namely between Ukraine and (the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk) DPR and LPR," he said.

Kiev has been blocking other negotiators’ initiatives "rejecting, sabotaging and protracting the process."

"We pin out hopes on mediators - Russia, France and Germany. However, there has not been seen any particular progress for more than two years," Pushilin said.

In the meantime, Pushilin’s press secretary Viktoriya Talakina wrote on her Facebook page that the next meeting of the Contact Group was agreed to be held on December 7.

Earlier in the day, a regular meeting of the Contact Group had ended talks in Minsk. The agenda of the talks included increasing ceasefire violations, exchanges of prisoners, disengagement of troops and weapons, implementation of the political provisions of the Minsk peace deal, disrupted water and power supplies in the Lugansk region and opening of control checking points at the contact line.

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