Ukraine Contact Group Brings No Results, Minsk Deal Implementation Stalled

© AP Photo / Vadim GhirdaA soldier mans a heavy machine-gun position at a Ukrainian army checkpoint near Kurakhove, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 3, 2015 on a road leading to Russia-backed separatist held territory
A soldier mans a heavy machine-gun position at a Ukrainian army checkpoint near Kurakhove, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 3, 2015 on a road leading to Russia-backed separatist held territory - Sputnik International
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There is no progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the most recent Contact Group meeting on Ukraine did not yield any significant results, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told RIA Novosti.

DAVOS (Sputnik) – The latest Contact Group meeting on Ukrainian reconciliation took place on Wednesday.

"Unfortunately, it was not very effective," Poroshenko told RIA Novosti on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

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According to the Ukrainian President, "severe shelling" continues in Ukraine’s southeast and "a security situation allowing for the start of the political stage [of the peace process] has not been created yet."

Kiev launched a special military operation in Ukraine’s southeastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions in April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, which came to power as a result of a coup.

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In February 2015, a peace agreement was signed between the two sides in the Belarusian capital, Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, a weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, an all-for-all prisoner exchange and constitutional reforms, which would give a special status to DPR and LPR.

Under the deal, constitutional reforms aimed at decentralizing power in Ukraine and the initiation of local elections in Donbass should have been concluded before the end of 2015.

The country's regions of Donetsk and Lugansk agreed to postpone their local elections until 2016. Before elections in those regions can take place, Ukrainian authorities must fulfill all their obligations under the Minsk peace agreement.

Despite the Minsk peace deal, sporadic shelling has continued in Ukraine’s southeast.

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