New round of peace talks on Ukraine crisis ends without deal

MINSK. KAZINFORM - The latest round of peace talks on Ukraine crisis on Saturday ended in the Belarusian capital of Minsk without an agreement.

Present at the negotiations of the "contact group" in the day were former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, representatives of the self-claimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics in eastern Ukraine Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego, Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov, as well as a special delegate of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Heidi Tagliavini.

"Today's consultations under the plan for the implementation of the Minsk agreements have been aborted due to the absence of Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky (leaders of the two self-claimed republics), to ultimatums from their representatives Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego, and to their refusal to discuss the plan of measures for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy armaments," the Interfax news agency reported, citing Kuchma as saying.

While declaring their loyalty to the key Minsk agreements signed in September, which called for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian fighters and military equipment from Ukraine, representatives of eastern Ukrainian insurgents said the status of Kiev's negotiator was insufficient for them to sign a final deal, Kazinform refers to the Guardian.

Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky reiterated their stance that leaders of their republics will not come to Minsk unless the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko publicly declares a ceasefire and withdraw heavy weapons from the division line.

Kiev's delegate responded that the Ukrainian side would not accept any preconditions.

There is no statement from either the Russian Ambassador or the OSCE delegate yet.

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