Representatives from Russia, Ukraine and OSCE to hold contact group talks

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine (TCG), a group made up of representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for

contact group minsk

Photo: Valeri Kvit/EPA

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine (TCG), a group made up of representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, is set to convene in Minsk today to discuss the ongoing conflict in the Donbass.

First established 2014 amid political unrest in Ukraine, the TCG helps facilitate communication between the governments of Russia and Ukraine.

Tensions between Moscow and Kyiv have cooled off since the election of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last year. Last week, Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine exchanged prisoners, the third such swap since Zelensky’s election. However, the president’s strong desire to resolve the conflict with Russia is checked by fears that a peace settlement granting the Donbas region autonomy would provide Russia with an avenue to undermine Ukrainian politics.

Expect today’s meeting to produce the announcement of further deals to reduce tensions between Russia and Ukraine, possibly including another future prisoner exchange. While this may occur, both sides are likely to remain at odds over the future of the Russia-backed, separatist-occupied portions of eastern Ukraine. The COVID-19 outbreak is only likely to distract both governments from settling the conflict in the short-term.

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.