17:20 GMT26 January 2020
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    There was no need for the representatives of the United States to participate in the meeting of a Contact Group on Ukraine, because their interests are promoted by individuals from the European Union, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Saturday.

    MOSCOW, September 6 (RIA Novosti) – There was no need for the representatives of the United States to participate in the meeting of a Contact Group on Ukraine, because their interests are promoted by individuals from the European Union, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Saturday.

    “Perhaps, there was no need for them [the US representatives] to participate, as their interests are promoted by certain people within the European Union, including [the EU High Representative Catherine] Ashton, who did nothing against the US will,” Lukashenko said in an interview with Russia-1 TV Channel.

    Lukashenko added that European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and others are now following the lead of the United States, which is “not a secret.”

    The Belarusian leader also stressed, that the United States have approved the format of the Contact Group meeting, but did not apply for participation.

    Earlier on Friday, members of the Contact Group on Ukrainian reconciliation met in Belarus’ capital Minsk to find ways to the solution of the Ukrainian crisis.

    Kiev authorities and self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics signed a deal to declare a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine starting from 15:00 GMT Friday.

    The sides also agreed on exchange of prisoners and humanitarian aid.

    Tags:
    European Union, contact group, Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus
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