02:50 GMT29 November 2020
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    John Kerry claims that the working groups on Ukraine reconciliation have made more progress during their recent meetings than before.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The working groups on Ukraine reconciliation have made more progress during their recent meetings than before, US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters on Tuesday.

    “There have been several meetings in the last days of the working groups and the Trilateral group which have been a little bit more productive than meetings heretofore, and a little bit more discipline has entered in to the elections discussions with respect to the separatists,” Kerry said.

    On Tuesday, four groups of the Contact Group on Ukraine reconciliation, comprising of representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), held their latest working meetings in Minsk.

    “The working groups are the key to making Minsk happen,” Kerry stated. “We are going to continue to be putting pressure on the process of the working groups to be able to more fully implement Minsk.”

    Kerry noted that in the next several days, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland will visit the region.

    The next meeting of the trilateral Contact Group on resolving the crisis in eastern Ukraine is expected to begin on Tuesday afternoon in Minsk.

    Thematic meetings dealing with security, political and humanitarian issues are planned to be held. The results of the thematic meetings will be summed up by representatives of the three sides as well as envoys from the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics.

    A fourth group, dealing with the economic issues and restoration of facilities, will meet on June 23, 2015.

    In September 2014, the Contact Group worked out an unsuccessful ceasefire agreement for the Kiev government and independence supporters. In February 2015, leaders of Russia, France and Germany hammered out an improved ceasefire agreement for the warring sides, which has held for the most part.

    More than 6,400 have been killed in the fighting in eastern Ukraine since the conflict broke out in April 2014, according to the UN. Some 1.2 million people have been internally displaced.


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