Ukraine contact group representatives deny ceasefire deal in Minsk


  • World
  • Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015

MINSK (Reuters) - Representatives of the contact group on the Ukraine crisis said no agreement had yet been reached on a ceasefire in talks in Minsk on Tuesday, denying a report by Russia's TASS news agency that a deal had been reached.

TASS, quoting an unnamed source, earlier said the envoys from Russia, Ukraine, pro-Russian rebels and the OSCE security watchdog had agreed a ceasefire for east Ukraine, a monitoring mechanism and a scheme for withdrawal of heavy weapons.

However rebel representative Denis Pushilin told Russian channel Rossiya24 it was too early to talk of any agreements and said the sides were now taking a break.

He later told journalists he had handed over to the Ukrainian side a proposal of "political and military steps" towards de-escalation and that the talks would resume after the Ukrainian envoy considers them. He did not say whether the talks would continue on Tuesday or later on.

They were meeting ahead of Wednesday's summit of leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany who will try to broker a peace deal in the conflict, which has killed more than 5,000 people.

Another source in the contact group also denied the TASS report. "This (the report) is not true. No decisions were taken today," he told Reuters.

Any failure in the contact group talks would bode ill for Wednesday's four-way summit, which comes as the pro-Russian rebels pressed on with an assault on an army-held rail junction..

(Reporting by Andrei Makhovsky in Minsk, Alessandra Prentice in Kiev and Gabriela Baczynska in Moscow, Editing by Dominic Evans)

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