07:30 GMT17 February 2020
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    The Moscow talks between US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov are not likely to lead to any big steps in resolving the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, Kremlin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Monday, the US Department of State said that Nuland would discuss the current situation in Ukraine with Russian officials during her visit to Russia later in the week.

    "There is no place for no expectations of a breakthrough, these are routine expert-level talks. No one is aiming for a breakthrough," Peskov said.

    According to Peskov, the channel for the expert-level information exchange was established to keep the United States apprised of the situation.

    In April 2014, the Kiev authorities launched a military operation against pro-independence militias in eastern Ukraine. In February 2015, the two sides reached a ceasefire agreement after talks brokered by the leaders of Russia, France and Germany in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

    The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, and all-for-all prisoner exchange and constitutional reforms, which would give a special status to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics.

    Both sides of the conflict, however, are constantly accusing the other of violations of the Minsk agreement.


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