World / Europe

Media give conflicting reports on ceasefire deal in Ukraine

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-02-11 15:05

Media give conflicting reports on ceasefire deal in Ukraine

People gather near a destroyed vehicle at a bus station after shelling in Donetsk, February 11, 2015. At least one person was killed on Wednesday when a shell hit a bus station in the center of rebel-controlled Donetsk city, east Ukraine. [Photo/Agencies]

MINSK/BEIJING - Media have made conflicting reports on whether a contact group on Ukraine crisis has reached a ceasefire deal, in a sign of mounting tension over the issue as Minsk braces for a crucial summit scheduled for Wednesday in the country's capital.

According to the Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BelTA), the contact group has agreed on a ceasefire deal and a scheme for the withdrawal of heavy weapons.

Members of the contact group have also discussed in the session the state structure of Ukraine's Donetsk region and the holding of local elections, the Belarusian national news agency said.

However, Reuters cited a representative of the contact group as saying that no agreement had yet been reached on a ceasefire in talks in Minsk.

It also cited an unnamed second source, who denied the reports that a ceasefire deal was made. "No decisions were taken today," the source told the British news organization.

Attending the closed-door contact group meeting were former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, OSCE (the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) special representative Heidi Tagliavini, Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov, and representatives of the self-declared republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego.

The meeting of the contact group on Ukraine marked the start of a new round of consultations ahead of the much-anticipated Minsk summit slated for Wednesday.

Tuesday's talks will have a considerable impact on the prospect of the four-way summit in Minsk, to be attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Representatives from the OSCE and independence-seeking insurgents in eastern Ukraine would also attend the meeting.

Also on Tuesday, French President Hollande said he would travel to the Belarus' capital of Minsk on Wednesday with Merkel for talks on how to stop the fighting in Ukraine.

The French leader reiterated his "firm determination" to broker an agreement on a peace deal in Ukraine following recent waves of violence that threw a ceasefire agreement into disarray.

"But even as discussions are underway, so is fighting in eastern Ukraine which is making life for civilians a nightmare," Hollande was quoted by the daily Le Figaro as saying.

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