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Ukraine's president says hopes peace process can start Friday

UkrainePetro Poroshenko

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said on Wednesday he hoped a peace process for the troubled eastern region of his country to begin on Friday in the Belarussian capital Minsk and urged politicians to support the talks.

"I greatly hope that on Friday in Minsk the peace process will finally begin," Poroshenko said in a statement.

"The people of Ukraine are fully in favor (of peace), while politicians want to play at war. I want to say that I will not allow this," he added.

Representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are scheduled to hold more talks in Minsk on Friday on ending the six-month conflict between Kiev's forces and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, writing by Gareth Jones)

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