MOSCOW, August 5. /TASS/. Russia will send a request for agreement to Ukraine on the new ambassador if Kiev sends a signal about readiness to accept the proposed candidate, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov told reporters on Friday.
Such issues are usually discussed behind closed doors, he noted. Simultaneously with the ending term of the former Russian Ambassador to Kiev Mikhail Zurabov, Russia "offered Ukrainians to consider a candidate to replace him via a rather authoritative channel," Ushakov said. "The first reaction of our partners was expressed in the framework of confidential communication," but Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin and his deputy Elena Zerkal also made some statements in the media, the presidential aide reminded.
"Upcoming discussions via appropriate channels should confirm whether Kiev’s current position is final, or we will receive some additional nuances in this context," Ushakov continued. "That means that we will wait for a clear signal from Kiev. If we receive confirmation of Ukrainian side’s readiness to positively react to the candidate proposed by us, we will then send an official request for agreement to Kiev," he explained.
"We think - and this is our principled position - that diplomatic missions in Kiev and Moscow should be headed by ambassadors," Ushakov stressed noting that "it is easier to resolve emerging problems precisely at this level." "If the Ukrainian side prefers a lower level of diplomatic missions, then that’s probably how it would be," the aide said. He reminded that "Ukrainians prefer in current circumstances that their embassy in Russia is headed by a charge d’affaires."
The new candidate plans to work constructively, Ushakov noted. "We offered Kiev a rather experienced politician as a candidate for ambassador. He has never made any anti-Ukrainian statements, and he really plans to work constructively to settle multiple existing problems," he noted.
"You will not hear his last name from me because it is not appropriate in diplomacy," the presidential aide said when asked whether Mikhail Babich is the candidate. Several media reported earlier that Babich, former presidential envoy to the Volga Federal District, was the candidate for this position.