Mediators say Ukraine rebels lack 'willing' for truce talks
Mediators on the Ukraine crisis have accused pro-Russian rebels of not being committed to truce negotiations after a planned videoconference to discuss talks fell through.
A discussion meant to be held Tuesday between the trilateral Contact Group -- which includes representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE -- and separatist leaders "did not materialise" meaning that no talks have happened since late June, the group said in a statement.
"In the opinion of the Contact Group, this indicates a lack of willingness on the side of the separatists to engage in substantive talks on a mutually agreed ceasefire," the statement released late Tuesday by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said.
Ukraine's Western-backed President Petro Poroshenko told German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a phone conversation Tuesday that there had been "two attempts" to hold the videoconference following pressure from world leaders for both sides to talk peace.
Poroshenko tore up a brief ceasefire earlier this month to relaunch a military offensive against the rebels aimed at crushing a three-month rebellion that has claimed some 600 lives in the east of the country.
© 2014 AFP