Kiev offered alternatives to Minsk for negotiations on Donbass

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Negotiations of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on a peaceful resolution of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine could be moved to a country that is not a NATO member. This opinion was expressed by the adviser to the Kiev delegation in the trilateral contact group on Donbass Alexey Arestovich.

Arestovich added that if the negotiations are to be transferred from Belarus, the organizers may consider options for holding them in Sweden or Austria.

“Firstly, this is a very distant prospect … It is too early to talk about it, except purely theoretically. Poland, I don’t think it will be a suitable platform for Russia, because Russian-Polish relations are known, ”Arestovich said in an interview that was broadcast on YouTube on April 10.

He also noted that for Russia a “sensitive issue” remains the fact that the TCG negotiations on Donbass take place in a country that is not a NATO member. Arestovich also added that Ukraine alone will not be able to resolve the issue of transferring negotiations from Minsk to another city, the decision will be made collectively.

Earlier that day, sources in the diplomatic circles of the Russian Federation told Izvestia that Russia is categorically against the postponement of the TCG negotiations on the settlement in Donbass, which is demanded by the Ukrainian delegation.

According to one of the interlocutors, Kiev’s statements about the undemocratic nature of Belarus and, therefore, its unacceptability as a platform for negotiations is nothing more than an attempt to “shift the focus of attention from the impasse in which it is today” TCG.

On April 6, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov said that the Ukrainian delegation to the trilateral contact group, after the end of quarantine, would not participate in negotiations in Minsk. He explained this decision by the fact that now Belarus “is under the influence of Russia”, and in Kiev “there is no trust in this territory.”

The statement of the Ukrainian side was then commented on by the former Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov. In his opinion, Kiev’s refusal to come to Minsk for negotiations is due to the teams of American curators.

In the summer of 2020, the head of the Ukrainian delegation to the contact group on Donbass, Leonid Kravchuk, said that he would allow the site to be transferred from the Belarusian capital to Sweden. He linked this to the protests in Belarus.

Since 2014, Kiev has been conducting a military operation against the residents of Donbass, who refused to recognize the results of the coup and the new government in Ukraine. The settlement issues are being discussed in the Minsk and Normandy formats – with the participation of Ukraine, Russia, France, Germany.