WARSAW, August 24. /TASS/. New president of Poland Andrzej Duda plans to bring up the issue of changing the format of talks on the situation in Ukraine during his first visit in the capacity of head of state to Berlin on August 28, he told reporters last night while returning from Estonia.
"I want to talk about it. I cannot image that powerful European countries are not involved in this format. The United States could also join it as a world power Russia has to reckon with, as well as Ukraine’s neighbors who are interested in what’s going on there," Duda said.
According to the Polish president, the Normandy format (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine) can be replaced by the Geneva format that would involve the United States, the EU, Russia and Ukraine. "It would be better if one of the parties at the negotiating table was a representative of some of the European institutions, not just Germany and France," he noted.
The authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) earlier said they were planning to block Poland’s initiatives on expanding the list of the countries involved in the peaceful settlement in the Donbas region. "Increasing the number of countries taking part in the Minsk negotiation process on the peaceful settlement in Donbas will only exacerbate the situation, so we will block such initiatives," said DPR envoy to the Contact Group talks, Vice-Speaker of the People’s Council Denis Pushilin.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said earlier on Monday there was no alternative to the Minsk accords agreed by the leaders of the "Normandy Four" and signed by the members of the Contact Group on Ukraine. "There are the Minsk accords, which have no alternative, they have been confirmed by the allied countries and the Ukrainian political forces," he said, speaking on Kiev’s main square during the March of Unity held on the occasion of Independence Day.