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Belarus bristles at Kazakhstan’s offer to host Ukraine talks

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The Associated Press

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Belarus has mocked Kazakhstan’s suggestion that it could serve as a new venue for Ukraine peace talks previously hosted by Minsk.

Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said in a statement released to The Associated Press Friday that the ex-Soviet nation “isn’t seeking peacemaker’s laurels unlike some others.” He added that moving the talks to another venue wouldn’t change anything.

Belarus has hosted a series of negotiations to try to settle the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine. The 2015 agreement signed in Minsk that was brokered by France and Germany helped reduce hostilities that have killed over 10,000 since April 2014, but attempts at political settlement have stalled and clashes have continued.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said the Minsk talks were deadlocked and suggested that his country could host them.

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