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LPR Head: New Round of Minsk Talks Prepared, Date of Meeting Pending

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The trilateral Contact Group comprised of representatives from Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are prepared to take part in another round of talks in Minsk though an exact date of the meeting has not yet been decided, the head of the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), Igor Plotnitsky said Saturday.

LUHANSK, September 27 (RIA Novosti) - The trilateral Contact Group comprised of representatives from Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are prepared to take part in another round of talks in Minsk though an exact date of the meeting has not yet been decided, the head of the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), Igor Plotnitsky said Saturday.

"There are preparations for the next round of negotiations, though the date has not been established, because a lot of the issues have not been fully discussed and parties do not bear legal responsibility for them," Plotnitsky said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated on Thursday that the next meeting of the Contact Group on the situation in Ukraine may take place next week. According to the president, consultations could be held via videoconference.

On Friday, the deputy prime minister of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), Andriy Purgin said that the DPR does not see the point of a new meeting in Minsk, until previous agreements have been completed. He noted that technical issues could be discussed through a Skype-conference.

On September 5, the trilateral Contact Group on the situation on Ukraine met in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. As a result of the meeting, the Kiev authorities and the self-proclaimed people's republics of Luhansk and Donetsk agreed to a ceasefire, prisoner exchange, the withdrawal of heavy artillery, and the creation of buffer zones to be monitored by the OSCE. On September 19, a memorandum was developed by the group including nine provisions to implement the ceasefire between Kiev and independence supports in eastern Ukraine. The memorandum entailed the establishment of a 30 kilometer buffer zone on the current line of contact to be monitored by the OSCE.

In April, the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the pro-independence movement of the country's southeast. The five-month conflict has killed over 3,000 people and injured over 8,000, according to UN estimates.

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