KIEV, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appointed former Prime Minister Eugene Marchuk as Kiev's new envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on Ukraine's crisis in Minsk, the presidential press service said Thursday.
Marchuk, who has served as Kiev representative in the security subgroup of the TCG, will perform his duties on a voluntary basis, said a statement on the Ukrainian presidential website.
Marchuk will replace Leonid Kuchma, who resigned from the position last month.
The 77-year-old Marchuk has served as Ukrainian prime minister in 1995-1996 and defense minister in 2003-2004. In 2015, he was appointed as Kiev representative in the security subgroup of the TCG.
The TCG, consisting of representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, was formed to facilitate a diplomatic solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
In April 2014, armed groups seized cities and villages in eastern Ukraine and declared independence from Kiev. The Ukrainian army launched the "anti-terror" operation against the insurgents.
Relations between Ukraine and Russia have deteriorated since early 2014 over Crimea and the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.