The talks of the contact group in Minsk that were scheduled for December 26 will not take place, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of Belarus Dmitry Mironchik said.
At the talks, held in Minsk on December 24, the sides discussed the early release of all hostages. The exchange of all hostages was to be conducted before the next meeting that had been scheduled for December 26. On December 25, the Security Bureau of Ukraine achieved a preliminary agreement on the exchange of 225 captive militia fighters for 150 Ukrainian servicemen. However, the exchange of prisoners did not take place.
Representatives of the self-proclaimed People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk stated that they conducted preparatory procedures for the next round of talks in Minsk, although they did not receive an invitation for the meeting. The previous trilateral meeting of the contact group took place in Minsk on 24 December.
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23