06:23 GMT28 January 2021
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    Kiev is slowing down the Minsk peace process which is evident from the results of the first Contact Group meeting conducted this year, Dmitry Balakin, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Kiev is slowing down the Minsk peace process which is evident from the results of the first Contact Group meeting conducted this year, Dmitry Balakin, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said.

    "The results of the first meeting in 2017 of the Contact Group and its subgroups have confirmed the solid aim of Kiev towards sabotaging, or at least inhibiting the Minsk process," Balakin said on Thursday.

    On December 21, the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine announced that a new ceasefire would come into effect in southeastern Ukraine ahead of winter holidays, on midnight December 24.

    Kiev launched a special military operation in Ukraine’s southeast in April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, which came to power as a result of a coup. In February 2015, the two sides reached a peace agreement after talks brokered by the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine — the so-called Normandy Format — in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Kiev has been reluctant to implement a number of Minsk deal provisions.

    Multiple ceasefires have been introduced in Donbas (Ukraine's southeast) since the start of the conflict, but all of them have failed to hold as both sides blamed each other for violations.

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    peace process, OSCE, Russia, Ukraine
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