Minsk talks to focus on demilitarised zone in east Ukraine: RIA

Talks on how to resolve a conflict in Ukraine will focus on withdrawing heavy weapons, creating a demilitarised zone in eastern Ukraine and starting a dialogue between Kiev and the rebels, Russia`s RIA news agency quoted a source as saying on Tuesday.

Reuters| Updated: Feb 10, 2015, 20:45 PM IST

Moscow: Talks on how to resolve a conflict in Ukraine will focus on withdrawing heavy weapons, creating a demilitarised zone in eastern Ukraine and starting a dialogue between Kiev and the rebels, Russia`s RIA news agency quoted a source as saying on Tuesday.

The leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine are due to meet in the Belarussian capital Minsk on Wednesday to try to end almost a year of fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists in which more than 5,000 people have died.

RIA quoted a source in Minsk as suggesting that the main sticking point would be the demilitarised zone. Europe`s security watchdog, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), France and Germany want Russia to oversee it. 

However, Moscow wants the OSCE to take control of the zone, the source was quoted as saying.

"There are no plans to sign a document after the summit of the heads of state on Wednesday. Most probably, we should expect a joint statement," the source added.