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    Ukraine Contact Group meets in Minsk

    Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany Call for Early Contact Group Meeting

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    Foreign ministers Sergei Lavrov, Pavlo Klimkin, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Laurent Fabius discussed the framework of the Minsk agreements and stressed the need for the early convening of the next meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine crisis during telephone talks on Friday.

    MOSCOW, January 2 (Sputnik) — Foreign Ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France during a telephone conversation on Friday stressed the need to convene another meeting of the Contact Group on resolving the situation in Donbas, Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

    "The sides continued to discuss the ways to promote the peaceful settlement of the situation in the south-east of Ukraine, including in the framework of the Minsk agreements. In this regard, [they] stressed the need for the early convening of the next meeting of the Contact Group," the statement said.

    The ministers also discussed the schedule of further consultations in the so-called "Normandy format" on different levels.

    Ukrainian reconciliation talks have taken place in the Normandy, Minsk, Geneva and Weimar formats so far. The Minsk format grants participation rights to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR).

    The Contact Group, comprising representatives of Russia, Ukraine, DPR, LPR and the OSCE met in Belarusian capital Minsk on September 5 and 19, which resulted in a ceasefire agreement between the warring sides. They, however, repeatedly accused each other of violating the ceasefire.

    On December 9, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared a "silence regime" in the in the conflict-torn Donbas region in the southeast of Ukraine in a bid to revive peace negotiations.

    The most recent meeting between the warring parties took place on December 31 in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic. The talks were described as a regular meeting to correct military action plans.

    Related:

    Contact Group Meeting on Ukraine Crisis Concludes in Luhansk
    Contact Group Meeting on Ukraine Crisis Kicks off in Luhansk
    Steinmeier Calls for Contact Group Meeting on Ukraine to Convene Early
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    France, Ukraine Contact Group, Pavlo Klimkin, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Laurent Fabius, Germany, Minsk, Ukraine, Russia
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