Ukraine rebels say will talk to mediators Thursday

16th July 2014, Comments 0 comments

Rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine will hold a videoconference Thursday with a group of mediators to discuss talks on a possible truce, a top separatist chief said Wednesday.

Plans for similar Internet negotiations between the separatists and a trilateral Contact Group involving representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE fell through Tuesday leading negotiators to slam the rebels for not being committed to talks.

Andrei Purgin, deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic", told AFP by telephone that the consultation would take place "tomorrow evening" but that the exact time was yet to be decided.

Previous negotiations fizzled out after two rounds in late June and have not resumed since Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko tore up an unsuccessful ceasefire to relaunch a military offensive against the rebels.

Since then Ukrainian forces have retaken a string of key towns but both sides are coming under increasing international pressure to stop three months of fighting that has claimed some 600 lives.

© 2014 AFP

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