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Minsk Meeting Over, Sides Agree on Ceasefire, Prisoner Swap and Humanitarian Aid

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Members of the Contact Group on Ukrainian reconciliation completed their meeting in Minsk, during which they agreed on a ceasefire, exchange of prisoners and humanitarian aid.

MINSK, September 5 (RIA Novosti) – Members of the Contact Group on Ukrainian reconciliation completed their meeting in Minsk, during which they agreed on a ceasefire, exchange of prisoners and humanitarian aid.

The future status of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk was not discussed at the meeting.

“We did not raise this question, we mostly discussed the ceasefire,” said Igor Plotnitsky, the prime minister of the Luhansk People’s Republic. “We will do everything to solve all other settlement issues at the negotiating table.”

Earlier, Plotnitsky said that the ceasefire did not change the policy of the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Luhansk and Donetsk to secede from Ukraine.

The ceasefire regime came into force at 6 p.m. local time (15:00 GMT).

Friday’s talks in the Belarusian capital of Minsk involved representatives from Kiev government, Ukrainian southeastern regions, Russia and the OSCE.

On Wednesday, the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko, in a phone conversation discussed the first steps to be taken to bring an end to the bloodshed in southeastern Ukraine.

Following the conversation with his counterpart, President Putin laid out a seven-point plan that could help find a solution. The plan called on Kiev to withdraw troops from southeastern regions of the country and militia to cease military advances. The plan also included proposals for an international monitoring force, the establishment of a humanitarian corridor, a ban on the use of combat aircraft over urban areas, an exchange of prisoners in an “all for all” formula and direct repair-crew access to destroyed infrastructure in the war-ravaged areas.

Tags:
humanitarian aid, prisoner swap, ceasefire, Minsk
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