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    Putin's Aide Arrives in Minsk for Talks With US Special Envoy for Ukraine

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    Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov arrived Monday in the Belarusian capital of Minsk to hold a meeting with US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker, a diplomatic source told Sputnik Monday

    MINSK (Sputnik) — On Friday, the US State Department said that Volker would pay a visit to Minsk on Monday to discuss Russian-Ukrainian ties with a Russian government representative.

    "Literally at this moment, the meeting of Russian presidential aide Surkov is taking place in the airport of Minsk," the source said, adding that the visit is expected to last one day, however, the length of stay always depends on the course of the talks.

    Earlier in the day, Belarusian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dmitry Mironchik told Sputnik that the meeting would be closed to press, whereas a diplomatic source noted that it was slated for the afternoon.

    The relations between Russian and Ukraine deteriorated in 2014, as Crimea became part of Russia after the region's March 2014 referendum. Also in 2014, Kiev entered into deadly armed confrontation with Donbas militia after the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics (LPR and DPR) refused to recognize the new Ukrainian government that came to power in what they perceive to be a coup. Brussels and Washington placed the blame for the eastern Ukraine conflict on Russia and still refuse to recognize Crimea’s rejoining Russia.


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