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"I won't go into details and don't want to blame anyone – the negotiation process is underway. Today we've met with the president, talked about the results [of yesterday's TCG meeting in Minsk]; I've just talked with [Russian representative Boris] Gryzlov. We still need to try tomorrow, without delay, to hold a Skype conference on this issue," his press secretary Darka Olifer wrote on Facebook, quoting Kuchma as saying.

He emphasized the need to do everything to free at least several people before the New Year.

"It is unknown whether we will succeed or not," he said, adding that President Zelensky puts this issue on top of the agenda.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said a new ceasefire was not agreed at a TCG meeting on Donbas in Minsk on Wednesday, instead the parties agreed to support the truce announced in July.