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No Ukraine Contact Group meeting as Ukraine refuses to attend -- Russian lawmaker

The Inter-parliamentary Contact Group for Ukraine, which was to meet on the sidelines of the PACE Assembly in Geneva, will not meet because Ukraine refused to attend, Chairman of the Duma Committee on international affairs Alexei Pushkov told TASS Thursday.

"In the beginning of this week Rada Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov informed PACE leaders that neither he nor the Ukranian delegation would attend, citing an election campaign underway in Ukraine as a formal pretext," Pushkov said.

" I do not think it was the real cause. I think it was deliberate blocking of the work of the Contact Group," Pushkov said.

"The parliamentary leadership of Ukraine is not interested, as a minimum, in collective search for ways of settlement of the Ukranian crisis; neither it is interested in the participation of the international community in promoting the Minsk agreements," Pushkov said.

"Nonetheless, Chairman of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Ilkka Kanerva pointed out that it was not the point of the annulment of the International Contact Group, but postponing its meeting until later," Pushkov explained.

The International Contact Group for Ukraine was created on the initiative of Russian Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin at a previous session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly held in Baku.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 02Oct14]

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