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Kremlin hopes Donbass disengagement process will be finalized soon

On November 4, the Donetsk People’s Republic launched a white signal rocket near Petrovskoye as a sign of readiness to disengage forces in that area, but the Ukrainian counterparts did not follow suit

MOSCOW, November 5. /TASS/. The current situation regarding the disengagement of forces in the area of Petrovskoye in Donbass is concerning, however, Russia hopes that the process of disengagement will be finalized soon, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

"We are monitoring the situation closely. Any messages informing that the disengagement of forces is undermined are deeply concerning. We hope that despite the difficulties, the process will be over, finalized," the spokesman said.

On November 4, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) launched a white signal rocket near Petrovskoye as a sign of their readiness to disengage forces in that area. Nonetheless, the Ukrainian counterparts did not follow suit.

DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova said last week that the pullback near Petrovskoye would start on November 4. Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky mentioned the same timeline, but with one condition, that the process should be preceded by a seven-day ceasefire in that area. On Monday, the Kiev-based headquarters of the military operation said that they considered this condition unfulfilled. The disengagement of forces will start near Petrovskoye on Friday, November 8, provided that the ceasefire holds, Vladimir Kravchenko, chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ military operation in Donbass, informed.

Preparations for the Normandy Four summit

In response to the question on whether the disengagement of forces will influence the prospects of holding the Normandy Four summit, Peskov stressed that it is too early to talk about the dates of the summit.

"Russia’s stance on the Normandy format has been consistent and unchanged. Russia and President Putin are in favor of continuing work in the Normandy format. We would like that summit to be held as soon as possible, but, at the same time, we believe that this summit should be prepared thoroughly to ensure appropriate results," he said.

In response to a question on whether the Normandy Four summit can be held by the end of the year, Peskov said: "It’s too early to say so far, there are many issues remaining on the agenda."

The Kremlin spokesman refused to discuss the contents of the document that may be signed on the outcomes of the summit. "I cannot say, discrete preparations are underway, and it would be wrong to disclose them publically. This would only hinder the preparation process and undermine the soonest organization of the meeting," he explained.