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Sunday 15 September 2019

US and Russian diplomats hold talks over Ukraine conflict

The meeting was held in a bid to resolve the Ukraine crisis
The meeting was held in a bid to resolve the Ukraine crisis

US and Russian envoys have met in Belgrade in an effort to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Serbian foreign minister has said.

Kurt Volker and his Russian counterpart Vladislav Surkov held talks on Saturday in the Serbian capital "dedicated to the Ukrainian crisis", Serbian minister Ivica Dacic said.

No details have emerged from the closed-door meeting.

Mr Volker tweeted the meeting is to discuss "how to catalyse Minsk implementation and restore Ukraine's territorial integrity".

A 2015 peace deal signed in the Belarusian capital of Minsk called for a ceasefire between the Russian-backed separatists fighting Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine, a conflict that has left more than 10,000 dead, but the deal was often violated.

Mr Volker had refused to meet with Mr Surkov in Russia, and Mr Surkov is barred from the European Union under sanctions for Russia's role in Ukraine.

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