Minsk: The pro-Russian separatist representative of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, said Wednesday it was premature to talk about a ceasefire with Ukrainian forces in the east of the country as negotiations with Kiev authorities have not been yet concluded.
Negotiations could be resumed Wednesday in the Belarus capital of Minsk, said Pushilin who was quoted by the separatists’ DAN news agency.
Pushilin’s comment came after Russia’s official news agency TASS reported that Ukrainian authorities and the separatists had agreed to a ceasefire.
Pushilin explained that the resumption of negotiations depend on the willingness of members of the Ukraine Contact Group (Ukraine, Russia and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe or OSCE) to respond to the proposals of the self-proclaimed republics of Donesk and Luhansk, the two pro-Russian breakaway eastern Ukrainian entities.
The negotiations of the Contact Group are considered a key prelude to the summit that is planned to be held Wednesday in Minsk between leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France to discuss a peace plan that could put an end to the conflict in Ukraine.
More than 5,300 civilians and combatants have been killed since the outbreak of fighting in April in eastern Ukraine, according to the UN.