Kiev expects Contact Group to announce date of truce in Donbass

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KIEV – Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko expects that the Trilateral Contact Group (Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE) will announce on December 18 the date of the start of the ceasefire in Donbass.

“I hope that in the near future, exactly on Wednesday, the specific date of the ceasefire will be announced, I would like to believe that it is the last one,” Pristaiko told Inter.

To modify the Minsk agreements “the will of all parties to the conflict is needed.”

The minister also expressed his hope that before the end of the year there will be “an exchange of detained persons.”

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In addition, the head of Foreign Affairs hopes that during his meeting in Minsk the Contact Group “agrees and announces new areas for the withdrawal of forces”.

The Normandy Quartet (Germany, France, Russia, Ukraine) meeting in Paris issued a statement in which it stressed that the Minsk Agreements continue to form the basis for work in this format. It also noted that the separation of forces into others is planned in three points from Donbas towards the end of March 2020 and urged to guarantee the ceasefire in Donbass until the end of 2019.

The Normandy Quartet and the Trilateral Contact Group (Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) are the main consultation platforms that seek to resolve the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

Since April 2014, Ukraine has carried out an operation against militias in the east of its territory, where the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk were proclaimed in response to the violent change of government in Kiev in February of the same year.

The Minsk Agreements, signed in September 2014 and February 2015, laid the groundwork for a political solution to the conflict, but have not resulted in the cessation of violence, which the UN estimates at 13,000 dead.

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