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Kravchuk says he has no plans to replace Kuchma as Kiev’s negotiator in Contact Group

January 23, 2016, 2:00 UTC+3 KIEV

He said there was no one he could talk with in the Contact Group

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Ukraine’s first President, Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma

Ukraine’s first President, Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma

© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze, archive

KIEV, January 23. /TASS/. Ukraine’s first President, Leonid Kravchuk said on Friday he has no plans to succeed Leonid Kuchma as Ukraine’s chief negotiator at the Contact Group on the settlement in Donbass.

"I am absolutely frank, I don’t think I will be able to replace Leonid Danilovich (Kuchma as Kiev’s chief negotiator)," the UNN news agency quoted him as saying.

He said there was no one he could talk with in the Contact Group. "Whom can I talks with and about what?" he said. Moreover, he stressed he saw no point in the Minsk talks "Both in terms of the format and terms of the essense."

Earlier on Friday, another Ukraine’s former President, Leonid Kuchma, who is Kiev’s official envoy to the Contact Group for the settlement in Ukraine, said he was ready to stand down as chief negotiator. "I have several times suggested to our president [Pyotr Poroshenko] to exchange me for Leonid Makarovich [Kravchuk]," the online edition quoted him as saying.

"No, I am not going there. I have no one to talk to there," Kravchuk was quoted by him as saying. Kuchma said negotiations in Minsk proceeded with difficulty, but marked their importance.

"Negotiations are needed. Do you think I go there gladly? I go there with one blood pressure readings, while come back with different ones," Kuchma said. said Kuchma had already voiced his bid to leave his position of negotiator, but said nobody seemed to be willing to replace him in the negotiating process.

The next meeting of the Contact Group on settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine will be held in Minsk on January 27, Kuchma’s spokeswoman Darya Olifer said Wednesday.

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