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news 05 Oct 17

Serbia to Host US-Russia Meeting on Ukraine

Kurt Volker, US special representative on Ukraine, will meet his Russian counterpart in the Serbian capital as disagreements continue about the possible deployment of UN peacekeepers.

Kurt Volker, the US representative at the Ukraine negotiations. Photo: US Embassy Kyiv Ukraine/Flickr

Kurt Volker, who was appointed US representative for Ukraine negotiations in July, tweeted on Wednesday that he will meet his Russian counterpart on Saturday in the Serbian capital.

“Will meet Russian counterpart Oct 7 in Belgrade to discuss how to catalyze Minsk implementation and restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” Volker tweeted.

The Belgrade meeting comes after Volker and Vladislav Surkov, Russia’s representative in the negotiations, met for the first time in Minsk, Belarus, in August.

Serbia’s Foreign Ministry has not yet released additional information on the meeting.

Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France reached the so-called Minsk agreement in 2015 under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, OSCE.

The aim was to ensure a ceasefire in hostilities between Kiev and pro-Russian forces in the east of Ukraine. The deal has yet to take force.

Early in September, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed the deployment of UN peacekeepers along the contact line.

But Kiev and Washington reacted coolly to the idea because Moscow does not want to allow the UN peacekeepers to patrol the Ukraine-Russia border to check for alleged arms and troop shipments sent to aid the pro-Russian rebels. Russia denies doing this.

The conflict has killed more than 10,000 people since 2014.

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