KIEV, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine will have new talks, involving representatives of southeastern Ukrainian regions and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday after a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev.
“We also mentioned that the Contact Group will have a new meeting with representatives of the respective regions and the OSCE led by [OSCE special envoy to Ukraine Heidi] Tagliavini. In my opinion, she is doing an excellent job,” Merkel said.
The Trilateral Contact Group on the Ukrainian crisis comprises former Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma, Russia's ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and OSCE special envoy to Ukraine Heidi Tagliavini. In July, the international mediators met in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, with representatives of independence supporters from eastern regions of Ukraine to discuss steps toward the truce in the Ukrainian standoff.
Ukraine's southeast has been under fire since mid-April, when Kiev launched a military operation aimed at suppressing the independence movement. Moscow has repeatedly condemned Kiev’s military campaign against the population in the east of the country and urged for an immediate stop to the punitive operation, advocating a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
Over 2,000 people have been killed and more than 5,000 injured since the start of Kiev’s military operation against independence supporters in eastern Ukraine in mid-April, according to the United Nations.