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Merkel, Hollande, Poroshenko Hope for Contact Group Meeting, Kiev Says

© Sputnik / Mikhail PalinchakUkrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that next contact group on Ukraine meetings set for December 24, 26
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that next contact group on Ukraine meetings set for December 24, 26 - Sputnik International
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Poroshenko's press service stated that Ukrainian President held phone conversations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, with all sides expressing hope that the next meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine will be held by Thursday.

KIEV, January 25 (Sputnik) — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has held phone conversations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, with all sides expressing hope that the next meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine will be held by Thursday, Poroshenko's press service said in a statement Sunday.

"The sides expressed hope that a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine will take place before the meeting of the Council of the European Union, which is scheduled for Thursday, January 29," the statement read.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko - Sputnik International
Poroshenko Says Kiev Has Killed 600 Pro-Independence Troops Since Friday
Earlier on Sunday, EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced that an extraordinary meeting of EU foreign ministers would take place Thursday to address the escalating tensions in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian peace talks have been held in several formats, including the Minsk format. In September, a ceasefire deal was signed during a meeting in Minsk, Belarus, of the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, which comprises representatives of Kiev, Moscow, the OSCE and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's republics.

However, fighting is yet to cease in Ukraine’s Donbas region, with the two conflicting sides routinely accusing each other of violating the truce. Tensions have been on the rise in recent weeks as several shelling incidents have claimed the lives of dozens of civilians.

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