Peace talks in Minsk are canceled
The talks of the tripartite contact group on a peaceful settlement of the situation in the east of Ukraine that were scheduled to held in Minsk on Friday will not now take place, spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Dmitry Mironchik has said, Russian news agency TASS reports.
Previously some media reported, citing a source in the contact group, that a second round of the meeting of the contact group would be held today.
The meeting of the group held on Wednesday, December 24, lasted about five-and-a-half hours.
The talks were attended by Ukraine former president Leonid Kuchma, representative of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk Denis Pushilin, representative of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Luhansk Vladislav Deinego, representative of the OSCE in Ukraine Heidi Tagliavini and Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov.
Later, the leaders of self-proclaimed republics, Igor Plotnitsky and Alexander Zakharchenko, stated that the negotiators of the contact group had agreed on an exchange of prisoners.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on December 25, the adviser to the chairman of Security Service of Ukraine Markiyan Lubkivsky said that the militants had agreed to release 150 Ukrainian prisoners in exchange for 225 fighters.
Earlier the Security Service of Ukraine stated that militants have been slow to exchange hostages.
At the same time, according to the latest data of Ukrainian Security Service, the rebels in Donbas are holding 684 Ukrainian captives.