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Kiev presents no official position at Minsk talks — DPR Foreign Ministry

July 13, 2016, 10:57 UTC+3 DONETSK
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DONETSK, July 13. /TASS/. Representatives of Ukraine in the political subgroup of the Contact Group on the settlement of the situation in Ukraine’s south-eastern Donbass region have not voiced Kiev’s official position on political issues, Foreign Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Natalya Nikonorova told the Donetsk News Agency on Wednesday.

"Ukraine has not sent their documents in writing. They previously verbally presented their position, but it does not mean that this time they will defend it. We wanted them to do this in writing, but they have sent nothing", she said.

According to Nikonorova, a written record is needed to preserve continuity in the negotiations when Kiev’s representatives change. "In particular, before the current representatives Kiev was represented in the negotiations by Roman Bessmertny, and we have already discussed with him issue of the so-called amnesty," the DPR foreign minister said. "However, (Kiev’s) representatives that are involved in the negotiations now have told us at that at that time it was the personal stance of Bessmertny, and not Ukraine’s stance."

Previously, DPR chief negotiator at the Minsk talks Denis Pushilin said that negotiations between participants in the political subgroup of the Contact Group for a settlement in Donbass had been rolled back to last year’s level due to the stance of Kiev’s representatives. "The situation is back to the level of May last year," he said, adding that Ukraine’s new representatives in the subgroup - Ukraine’s former ambassador to Moldova Sergey Pirozhkov and leader of the civic association Opora (Pillar), Olga Aivazovskaya, have in fact started from scratch. "Our representatives have to repeat all principles and ideas once again," Pushilin said.

The representative of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic, Vladislav Deinego, said that the coordinator of the political group from the OSCE, Pierre Morel, noted the backward movement, too. "Fatigue caused by that process manifested itself. At the meeting (in Minsk on June 29 - TASS) the political group’s coordinator Morel urged Kiev to present its ideas regarding practically each single item. They have the understanding that we’ve rolled way back to a point where without having no papers in our hands the situation cannot be changed," Deinego said.

The political group is one of the four working subgroups in the Contact Group that were created for the intensification of the negotiations on a settlement in Donbass. Contact Group participants on February 12, 2015 met in Minsk to sign a package of measures agreed by the Normandy quartet (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine) for the sake of implementing the Minsk Accords. The set of measures included ceasefire, pullback of heavy weapons from the engagement line, a dialog on the restoration of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbass, and also a reform of the Ukrainian Constitution for the purpose of decentralization and formalization of the "special status of some districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions."

The next meeting of the political and other subgroups will be held in Minsk on Wednesday. The Contact Group members also plane negotiations.

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