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Ukraine Reconciliation Meeting Begins in Minsk

© Sputnik / Viktor Tolochko / Go to the photo bankUkraine Contact Group meets in Minsk
Ukraine Contact Group meets in Minsk - Sputnik International
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The meeting of the three-party contact group on Ukrainian reconciliation began in Minsk.

A picture taken on April 23, 2015 shows residential houses destroyed after shelling in the village of Peski, near Donetsk, on April 23, 2015 - Sputnik International
Donetsk, Lugansk Negotiators Arrive in Minsk for Contact Group Meeting
MINSK (Sputnik) – The meeting of the three-party contact group on Ukrainian reconciliation began in the Belarusian capital of Minsk on Wednesday afternoon, a source present at the talks told RIA Novosti.

"The meeting has begun," the source said.

The Trilateral Contact Group, comprising Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), is working toward a diplomatic resolution of the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called on the Contact Group to discuss the implementation of the Minsk II ceasefire agreements, signed in mid-February by Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

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President Poroshenko also urged the Contact Group to discuss the framework of deploying UN and EU peacekeepers to the crisis-hit region of Donbass to operate alongside the OSCE monitoring mission in the country's east.

Currently, OSCE observers are verifying and assisting, with the support of the Contact Group, in maintaining the ceasefire regime and the pullout of heavy weaponry from the region.

According to UN estimates, over 6,000 people have been killed in the conflict that erupted in April 2014.

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