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Lawmaker: 'It would be naive to expect a breakthrough' in Berlin talks on Donbass

October 20, 2016, 11:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW
State Duma member Sergey Zheleznyak has marked Russia's intention to resolve the crisis in eastern Ukraine
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German chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia's president Vladimir Putin prior to talks with French president Francois Hollande and Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko

German chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia's president Vladimir Putin prior to talks with French president Francois Hollande and Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko

© Michael Kappeler/Pool Photo via AP

MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. The Normandy Four (Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France) meeting in Berlin on Wednesday signaled Moscow’s intention to resolve the crisis in eastern Ukraine, member of the State Duma’s international affairs committee Sergey Zheleznyak said.

"The meeting held in the Normandy Four format shows our drive for resolving the Ukrainian crisis, putting an end to the deaths and solving humanitarian issues in Donbass," the lawmaker told reporters on Thursday. Berlin and Paris also showed interest in resolving the conflict in Ukraine and eliminating the hotbed of tensions near European borders.

"But Kiev blatantly continues to sabotage the Minsk agreements’ implementation making France and Germany hostages of its criminal policy," said Zheleznyak, who is also deputy secretary of the ruling United Russia party’s General Council.

Kiev neglects its commitments, continues the shellings and sends saboteurs "who carry out bloody attacks and killings on the territory of Donbass." In this situation, it would be naive to expect a breakthrough in the talks, he said. "Poroshenko clearly did not expect sharp criticism on the part of France and Germany, but for him Washington’s orders are of key importance."

"As regard to the discussion on the Syrian crisis, our president made it clear for the Western colleagues that Russia sees its task as only the fight against terrorism and consistently makes every effort for the release of people from areas of the city seized by terrorists," the lawmaker said in comments to the talks between the Russian, German and French leaders on Syria.

"To this aim, Russia announced a humanitarian pause that it is ready to extend if the militants do not disrupt it," he stressed. 

"As expected, no breakthrough decisions were made. We once again heard Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko reiterating his commitments to the Minsk agreements. However, it is still only words," the head of Russia’s State Duma Committee for International relations Leonid Slutsky agrees. 

Slutsky noted that Kiev had been sabotaging the political part of the Minsk agreements for over a year and a half, and the proposed Constitutional reform was still gridlocked while the issue of the special status of Donbass, the cornerstone of the Ukrainian crisis settlement, still remained unsolved. "The Ukrainian authorities continue to neglect the position of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, the humanitarian situation has been exacerbating and the West has been turning a blind eye on all of these circumstances covering for the Poroshenko regime and accusing Russia of all deadly sins," Slutsky added.

"We would like to hope that in hammering out another road map, all these issues won’t be given a backseat and the deadlock concerning the settlement of the political and humanitarian situation in south-eastern Ukraine will be broken," the MP concluded.

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