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Kremlin does not rule out direct dialogue with Kiev

August 31, 14:37 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK
The dialog is possible if the discussion is not devoted to the implementation of the Minsk agreements as Russia is not a party to the conflict in Donbass
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Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

VLADIVOSTOK, August 31. /TASS/. The Kremlin has not ruled out a direct dialogue between Moscow and Kiev if the discussion is not devoted to the implementation of the Minsk agreements as Russia is not a party to the conflict in Donbass.

Asked if the Kremlin admits the possibility that Ukraine and Russia could hold talks on Donbass without mediators, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "It depends on what is particularly discussed concerning Donbass."

"There is the need to understand what will be discussed. If this concerns the implementation of the Minsk agreements, then of course the fulfillment should be primarily ensured by Donbass and Kiev," Peskov explained.

"Moscow is not a party to this conflict and it’s unlikely that you will find any point in the text of the Minsk agreements that contains any obligations of Moscow in implementing these or those proposals," Peskov said, adding that "Moscow is the guarantor of these agreements along with Germany and France."

About the outlook for settling the Ukrainian crisis Peskov said that "no progress is in sight at the moment and, as before, one can regret the lack of any movement forward by Kiev in implementing the Minsk Accords."

Normandy format continues to exist

According to Peskov, the Normandy format (Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine) on the Ukrainian settlement continues to exist

The contacts in the Normandy format continue and the countries stress that there is no alternative to the Minsk peace agreements, Peskov stressed. "The Normandy format continues to exist, but this time there will be no such a meeting," he said.

He added the leaders of the four countries are not expected to meet during the G20 summit in China.

"At the moment no such meeting is planned, but there will be separate meetings (of Russian President Vladimir Putin) with (French President Francois) Hollande and (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel," Peskov said.

Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Tuesday that two bilateral meetings on Ukraine will take place on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China instead of trilateral talks of the Russian, German and French leaders.

"The key topic at both meetings is Ukraine," Ushakov said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin said earlier this month that Kiev could admit changing the Normandy format of talks on the settlement in Donbass. Earlier Kiev suggested holding the Normandy Four meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China’s Hangzhou due on September 4-5.

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