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Martin Sajdik: Progress in Minsk talks possible this year

September 14, 12:47 UTC+3 KIEV
The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine has noted that "Russia is serious about bringing the Minsk talks to a successful conclusion"
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Martin Sajdik, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in the Trilateral Contact Group on the implementation of the peace plan in the East of Ukraine

Martin Sajdik, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in the Trilateral Contact Group on the implementation of the peace plan in the East of Ukraine

© Viktor Drachyov/TASS

KIEV, September 14. /TASS/. The Minsk talks’ format is sufficient for resolving the conflict in Donbass, and it is possible to achieve progress before the year ends, Martin Sajdik, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in the Trilateral Contact Group on the implementation of the peace plan in the East of Ukraine, said in an interview with TASS.

"We must work this year. This year we have much to do, and if all the parties muster political will, then we could achieve significant progress this year," he said when asked about the possibility of extending the Minsk peace agreements into the next year.

According to Sajdik, the Contact Group members are determined to achieve results. "This autumn, I have the impression that the participants (of the peace negotiating process - TASS) want (to achieve) "a window of opportunities". Diplomats often talk about such "windows of opportunities." It may be a very small window but I think that there is hope," Sajdik stated.

In this regard, the OSCE representative mentioned his recent visit to Moscow, where he met with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russia’s Representative in the Contact Group Boris Gryzlov.

"These meetings turned out to be very useful, they helped understand Russia’s stance better, in particular", Sajdik noted. "It was very important for me. The fact that Lavrov was able to give me almost an hour of his time before departing for Geneva to meet the US Secretary of State, shows that Russia is serious about bringing the Minsk talks to a successful conclusion."

Besides that, the US has also been sending positive signals, Martin Sajdik went on to say, noting that "the US has serious intentions to help end this conflict."

The Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson pointed out that not only the Minsk Group had been involved in settling of the conflict in Donbass, but there was also the Normandy Four format. "The Normandy Four countries (Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany) have been holding regular talks and meetings on the political advisors’ level," Sajdik said. "It is a rather high-level responsible group and its members discuss many issues and questions in detail, this is why the success of the Minsk process depends on this format and other formats as well. These processes are interlinked."

When answering a question about his role in the Minsk process, Sajdik said that it had been his own decision to join the talks. "Everything I do, I do for my own reasons. Nobody sent me here, I do what I do because I want to help resolve this conflict," he said. "I used to live in the Soviet Union, I studied in Moscow, I saw the country when it was united, I saw it fall apart and I saw the former (Soviet) Union republics become independent states."

"I think nobody can capitalize on this conflict, neither Ukraine, nor Europe. So I must work, I want to help because I can’t understand how the Russians and Ukrainians can fight each other," Martin Sajdik stated.

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