Ukraine is ready to negotiate with Russia, France and Germany anywhere in Donbass, but without the participation of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. This was stated on Friday, April 23, by the press secretary of the Kiev delegation in the trilateral contact group on the settlement of the conflict in the region, Alexey Arestovich.
Thus, he commented on the statement of the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Russia Dmitry Kozak about the possibility of holding negotiations on Donbass “directly in the conflict zone with the participation of representatives of Ukraine and certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.”
“Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany are the representatives of the Normandy format. Representatives of the so-called “LDNR” can be in the Minsk process, and then as invited experts, whose task is to solve two issues: the peculiarities of local self-government and the conduct of elections, ”Arestovich told Strana.ua.
He stressed that Kiev does not agree to the proposed conditions. According to Arestovich, there can be no “unrecognized republics” either in Minsk or in the Normandy format.
On April 23, Kozak said that Russia had proposed to Germany and France to discuss until April 27 the issues of a truce in eastern Ukraine and the implementation of the Minsk agreements. He also noted that Kiev is aimed not at establishing peace in Donbass, but at avoiding dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk.
Earlier, on April 20, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy offered to meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin “anywhere” in Donbass.
The Russian President replied that if Kiev wants to restore relations, Moscow will only welcome this. According to Putin, in order to develop bilateral relations, the Russian Federation will receive Zelensky in Moscow at any time convenient for the Ukrainian leader.
At the same time, according to Putin, Zelensky needs to enter into negotiations on the situation in the region with the leaders of the republics of Donbass, and only then discuss this issue with third countries.
On the eve, the leaders of the DPR and LPR Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik have already declared their readiness to meet with the President of Ukraine at any point on the contact line in Donbass.
Since 2014, Kiev has been conducting a military operation against the residents of Donbass, who refused to recognize the results of the coup in the country. At the same time, the Ukrainian authorities blame Moscow for the current situation. The Russian Federation has repeatedly noted that it is not a party to the internal Ukrainian conflict, and called on Kiev to negotiate with the self-proclaimed republics, implement the Minsk agreements and achieve de-escalation.