Kiev announces new round of peace talks on Ukraine crisis

Updated: 2015-06-11 09:51


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KIEV - Former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, who is Kiev's representative at the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine crisis, announced Wednesday that the next round of peace talks in Minsk will be held this month.

"The negotiations are planned for June 16 and June 23," Kuchma told reporters during a press conference.

Representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will take part in the meeting, which is aimed at seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Kuchma said.

According to him, Russia has proposed to invite the representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics to participate in the talks, but Ukraine has rejected the proposal.

Kiev insists that the representatives of pro-independence insurgents should be present at the consultations as "advisors" without having the opportunity to influence the decisions of the Contact Group, Kuchma said

"We are involved in a negotiation process with them, but the decision must be taken in a different place," he said.

The last round of peace talks on Ukraine crisis was held on June 2 in the Belarusian capital of Minsk and was aimed at establishing a comprehensive cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, where government forces fight against rebels.

Since fighting erupted in April 2014, more than 6,400 people have been killed, according to the latest United Nations estimates.