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Contact Group on Ukraine plans video conference for Saturday afternoon — envoy

February 25, 2017, 13:02 UTC+3 LUGANSK

"We expect Ukraine’s representatives at the Contact Group to confirm their participation," Vladislav Deinego said

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LUGANSK, February 25. /TASS/. The Contact Group on Ukraine plans to have a video conference later on Saturday to discuss the aggravated situation in Donbass, Lugansk’s envoy to the Minsk talks Vladislav Deinego said.

"The videoconference is due to begin at 16:00 (Moscow time)," he told LuganskInformCenter. "We expect Ukraine’s representatives at the Contact Group to confirm their participation."

On Friday, he said, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) put forward a proposal to hold an emergency meeting of the Contact Group seeking to find a solution to the conflict in east Ukraine in the format of a video conference.

"In the wake of a critical situation near the Donetsk water purification plant, the DPR has demanded to convene an emergency video conference of the Contact Group," Deinego said quoted by the Luganskinformcenter.

"We supported the DPR and are ready to discuss aggravation of the situation and shelling of the republic’s residential areas," he said.

Earlier in the day, the Donetsk water purification plant stopped operating and its personnel was evacuated after shelling from positions of the Ukrainian military, the Donetsk News Agency said. On February 23, the plant also reported shelling from positions of the Ukrainian military.

The water purification plant is located between Avdeyevka and Yasinovataya. The plant supplies water to settlements on either side of the front line, including Donetsk, Yasinovataya, Vasilyevka and Spartak controlled by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), and Avdeyevka, Krasnogorovka and Verkhnetoretskoye controlled by Kiev.

LPR plans to discuss the fire Ukraine’s military opened on February 23 on the electric plant in Bryanka, where 58 miners were blocked in a mine.

In late January, the situation along the line of contact in Donbass deteriorated, the number of shelling attacks dramatically increased. The number of destroyed buildings has been growing, there have been reports of civilian deaths.

On February 1, members the Contact Group on settling the conflict in eastern Ukraine held a meeting in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, demanding that hostilities in Donbass be stopped, weapons and military hardware be withdrawn from the line of contact area by February 5. However, the Ukrainian military has not implemented the decisions of the Contact Group.

On February 15, the Contact Group made a decision that all weapons banned by the Minsk agreements should be withdrawn from the line of contact by February 20. Foreign ministers of the four member states of the Normandy Quartet (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine) upheld this initiative at a meeting held on February 18.

However, on February 21, Kiev disrupted the weapons withdrawal process.

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