MOSCOW, October 7. /TASS/. The Kremlin has certain influence on the Donbass republics, but it is not a party to the conflict influencing the withdrawal of forces there, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
"We are talking about resolving the intra-Ukrainian conflict. The Kremlin, of course, has certain influence on the Donbass republics. However, you do know that the Donbass republics are independent territorial entities in resolving that conflict," he said, when asked whether Moscow could guarantee that armed units would be withdrawn from the line of engagement. "The Kremlin is not a party to the conflict," Peskov stressed.
The Kremlin spokesman noted that Moscow, along with Berlin and Paris, is a guarantor of the Minsk agreements. "Just like all countries, we are interested in ensuring that all the activities that had been planned and committed to paper, and which were signed by the four [leaders], are carried out," he concluded.
The Ukrainian armed forces and the Donbass republics are expected to begin the disengagement of forces near Zolotoye and Petrovskoye on Monday. Creating security zones in these areas, thus implementing the agreements signed back in 2016, is a precondition for holding another Normandy Four summit. The parties reached an agreement on the disengagement of forces at the latest meeting of the Contact Group on the settlement in eastern Ukraine on October 1. They also approved the Steinmeier formula.