MOSCOW, October 28. /TASS/. Moscow has been closely following the visit of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to the Zolotoye settlement in Donbass, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.
"Of course, we have been following the situation closely. The talks that took place have shined a light on the existing issues, showing their primary source," he said. Peskov noted that if Zelensky manages to make the Ukrainian nationalists follow his directives, the preparations for the Normandy Four summit can be sped up.
"If the Ukrainian president makes the units [of nationalists] follow his orders, then we can discuss the preparations for disengagement (in the settlements of Zolotoye and Petrovskoye in Donbass - TASS), which is a crucial part of the preparations for holding the [Normandy Four] summit," Peskov said.
Zelensky’s visit to Zolotoye
Earlier, Zelensky visited the disengagement area near the Zolotoye settlement in Donbass, where he attempted to convince the Ukrainian nationalists to disengage forces and to stand down their arms. The visit was not previously announced by Zelensky’s office.
The armed forces of Ukraine and the self-proclaimed Donbass republics were supposed to begin the disengagement process in the areas of Zolotoye and Petrovskoye on October 7. The date was approved during the session of the Contact Group for settlement in eastern Ukraine on October 1, when the sides approved the so-called Steinmeier formula on granting special status to Donbass. However, the Ukrainian side failed to comply with the disengagement procedure.
The decision to establish three security zones in Donbass (Stanitsa Luganskaya, Zolotoye and Petrovskoye) was taken in September 2016. In the fall of 2016, the sides disengaged forces in Zolotoye and Petrovskoye, however, after that, the Ukrainian troops returned to the area.