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Kiev’s envoy to Contact Group: Settlement process in Donbas to collapse without Minsk-2

January 25, 12:22 UTC+3 KIEV
Leonid Kuchma also stressed the importance of looking for a compromise but not at Ukraine’s expense
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© EPA/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO, Archive

KIEV, January 25. /TASS/. Kiev’s envoy to the Contact Group on settlement of conflict in Donbas Leonid Kuchma has spoken categorically against changing the format of the Minsk negotiations.

"I want to assure you — if there is no Minsk-2, there will be nothing else. Everything will collapse. Does someone really think that another format will appear on Ukraine’s request?" Kuchma told Segodnya.ua news portal.

"Let’s assume that we want to include [US President Barack] Obama. Does Obama want this? Ten US priorities do not even mention Ukraine. Did we ask [Russian President Vladimir] Putin? Does he agree? We cannot bring to the negotiations table everyone on whom our future depends. We cannot bring to the negotiations table the participants of the Budapest Memorandum," he noted.

Kuchma said that he would welcome China’s participation in the talks. "I would gladly welcome China. China also signed this agreement [Budapest Memorandum]," he said.

Kiev’s envoy also stressed that it is important to look for a compromise "but not at Ukraine’s expense." "We have all reasons to demand the implementation of the first points outlined in Minsk protocols, and then we can think about some further steps," Kuchma concluded.

The Minsk Accords were signed on 12 February 2015 after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The Minsk accords envisage ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbass, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.

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