According to Belorussian officials the peace talks in Minsk between representatives of the Ukrainian central government and the self proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk have been called off. The meeting of the contact group that was scheduled for Friday will not take place. The last negotiations on Wednesday were described as tough and didn’t bring a result. However in video conference meetings both sides agreed for a prisoner exchange.
Despite the breakup of the negotiations in Minsk, the agreed prisoner exchange is still going to be conducted as some sources claim.
Sources close to Kiev claim that the separatist representatives were “absolutely incompetent people who are not responsible for making decisions and are uninformed about past agreements“, as some media reports say. Further information from Wednesday’s talks suggest that the sides were not able to agree on a topic to discuss on. However, media reports citing AFP claim that a senior Ukrainian source suggests that peace talks might still have a chance to be held today in Minsk.
An official fail of the Minsk negotiations is likely to flare up the fighting in Eastern Ukraine where so far a fragile ceasefire calmed down the general situation a little despite regular violations of allegedly single combat groups ignoring the general commands. Further heat up could be caused by Kiev’s Tuesday statement to strive for NATO membership.