MOSCOW, October 21./TASS/. No progress is seen in preparations for a Normandy Four summit and Russia is concerned about the situation in Ukraine, Russian president’s aide, Yuri Ushakov told journalists on Monday.
"We are rather concerned about the situation that has developed after political advisers to the Normandy Four leaders had carried out certain work among themselves, and then their agreements were formalized in a decision of the Contact Group in Minsk," Ushakov said.
"At the moment, I would say that no specific progress is seen within the context of preparations for a scheduled Normandy format summit, though all parties want to have this meeting held," he added.
Focusing on Moscow’s concerns, Ushakov pointed out that after the coordinated text of the Steinmeier formula had been signed and the schedule for the disengagement of forces at Zolotoye and Petrovskoye in Donbass had been approved, Kiev started sending contradictory signals.
"Ukrainian nationalists from the Azov, Aidar and Donbass battalions have arrived at Zolotoye and Petrovskoye. It is clear that they took every effort to prevent the disengagement, and there was a threat that if the Ukrainian armed forces left these regions, nationalists could take their positions instead," Ushakov noted.
Generally, "a lot is unclear" with the situation around the Ukrainian settlement now. "In addition, we have unconstructive statements from Kuchma’s spokesperson [Darya Olifer — TASS] after a session of the Contact Group, and also inconsistency that comes from other official representatives in Kiev, including Zelensky himself," he stressed. All this comes against the background of growing activity of nationalists along the disengagement line, as well as in Kiev itself.
Focusing on a bid to hold a Normandy Four summit, Ushakov once again reiterated Russia’s stance. "We want to see this new summit thoroughly prepared — with draft final decisions coordinated beforehand, and we also want to see new additional moves towards the implementation of the Minsk agreements mapped out at the summit, instead of it placing on record Kiev’s bid to revise the existing agreements, provisions of the package of measures," Ushakov stressed.
Moscow is ready for a summit, but it must be thoroughly prepared, he reiterated. "In particular, during Putin’s conversation with [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel, the leaders agreed to once again give instructions to the advisers and to the foreign ministries in order to give a boost to preparations and try to coordinate the positions," he summed up.