The Contact Group has agreed that at its next meeting on March 25 a new mechanism for settling the Donbass conflict would be endorsed, Dmitry Kozak, the deputy chief of the Russian presidential staff, said.
At the meeting in Minsk on Wednesday the sides backed a number of agreements on preparing for the disengagement of forces and a prisoner swap in the near future, TASS quoted Kozak as saying.
"We also agreed on a mechanism for the sides’ cooperation on finding political solutions for settling the conflict," he said. "This is very important because we believe that this is a crucial part of settlement. Without taking principal decisions on the options of settling the conflict we cannot make progress in humanitarian, security and economic issues."
Kozak has described the Minsk meeting as rather constructive. "I hope very much that at the next meeting of the Contact Group we will make a final decision on the sides’ dialogue mechanism and on ironing out the conflict."
According to Kozak, the new proposal is aimed at creating a dialogue platform involving countries of the Normandy format (Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France) and conflicting sides. "Nothing else should be said here. We should treat these agreements carefully so that they don’t get disrupted. We hope that they will be carried out," he said.