VIENNA, June 17. /TASS/. Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini’s resignation as special envoy of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Ukraine and appointment of a successor should not harm negotiations to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov said on Wednesday.
"We assume that any changes should not harm the negotiation process," Meshkov told TASS. "We deeply appreciate the work done by Heidi Tagliavini. We hope that any of her successors will continue this work as impartially and in a result-oriented way."
"We are ready to support a candidate who will facilitate the negotiation process," the diplomat said, adding it was "crucial" for Russia that "the time lag between Tagliavini’s resignation and appointment of her successor is as small as possible".
When asked when Tagliavini’s successor was expected to come to Moscow, Meshkov noted that "this is not about the place in any format but the key players in the ‘Normandy process’ should hold preliminary consultations with any candidate".
The Normandy format refers to meetings between leaders and foreign ministry officials of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France.