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Donetsk, Luhansk Representatives Ready for Minsk Peace Talks

© Sputnik / Viktor Tolochko / Go to the photo bankRepresentative of the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) Vladislav Deinego
Representative of the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) Vladislav Deinego - Sputnik International
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Representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk self-proclaimed republics are ready to take part in the Contact Group meeting in Minsk, according to LPR negotiator Vladislav Deinego.

DPR and LPR representatives hold news conference at Minsk airport - Sputnik International
Donetsk, Luhansk Ready Only for Mutual Heavy Weaponry Pullback, Ceasefire
MINSK, January 31 (Sputnik) — Representatives of the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine are ready to take part in the Contact Group meeting Minsk this Saturday, the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic’s chief negotiator Vladislav Deinego said.

“We are ready to meet with experts and other people [from Kiev], as long as they are authorized and this is confirmed by documents,” Deinego told RIA Novosti Saturday.

Deinego and Denis Pushilin, Minsk talks envoy from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, arrived in the Belarusian capital Friday morning. The two negotiators left shortly, stating that Kiev’s representative at the Minsk talks, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, had failed to arrive.

Kuchma said that a meeting could take place on Saturday and noted that the leaders of the self-proclaimed republics should personally attend negotiations.

Ukrainian soldiers - Sputnik International
Donetsk Self-Defense Forces Ready for Truce Talks With Kiev
Late Friday, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) confirmed that a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, aimed at achieving a binding agreement on immediate ceasefire, would be held in Minsk Saturday.

In early September, a meeting of the Contact Group, which comprises representatives of Kiev, Moscow, OSCE and the self-proclaimed republics in East Ukraine, resulted in a ceasefire agreement between Kiev and eastern Ukrainian militia. A memorandum specifying the ceasefire’s implementation was signed shortly after.

Despite the truce deal, fighting has continued in Ukraine's eastern regions. Dozens of civilians have been killed in shelling incidents over the past few weeks, with both Kiev and local militia accusing each other of violating the ceasefire agreement.

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