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Kremlin: Zelensky’s idea to set up subgroup on border control not discussed in Paris

Compromise on the situation in Ukraine is possible, but without departure from Minsk-2, according to the presidential spokesman

MOSCOW, December 10. /TASS/. The proposal by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on setting up an additional subgroup on the border control transfer to Ukraine was not discussed substantively at the summit in Paris, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

"Substantively, this issue was not discussed yesterday," Peskov commented.

On the whole, the issues of the border control were raised during the Normandy Four (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine) summit in Paris, the Kremlin spokesman said.

The summit participants "examined quite thoroughly the text of the Minsk accords, which prescribe clearly the procedure and the sequence of actions agreed by all the sides for transferring the border control," Peskov pointed out.

"As you know, the four presidents wrote in the second paragraph of the joint document on the agreed results of the Paris summit: ‘the Minsk agreements continue to be the basis of the work of the Normandy format whose member states are committed to their full implementation,’" the presidential spokesman informed.

Commenting on the issue of the need to include representatives who have left Donbass and are now living on the territories controlled by Ukraine in the trilateral group, Peskov noted that changes in the existing format could not be ruled out. "There is the trilateral group and … any changes in the format cannot be ruled out," he noted.

"But the format cannot be altered without the approval of all the participants, of the three sides in this group …," Peskov stated.

The Normandy Four summit agenda mostly covered the position of the self-proclaimed republics, the Kremlin spokesman went on. "Of course, the solution is quite difficult without taking into account their viewpoints and, importantly, without Kiev’s contacts with these representatives," Peskov stressed.

During the negotiations, the sides used various formulations, which were not always universal for all the summit’s participants. This primarily related to the phrase ‘occupied Donbass’ used by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, the Kremlin spokesman revealed.

"Each time, the speakers made a reservation during the negotiations. That is, ‘as you say,’ ‘occupied territories,’ with which we do not agree," Peskov explained.

According to the Kremlin spokesman, all the participants clearly expressed their disagreement with this or that formulation. "Putin numerously and constantly reiterates that he does not agree with such a formulation but, nonetheless, this formulation is used by his Ukrainian counterpart. This is a working situation at negotiations. No one gives up his formulations but no one is shy to voice their disagreement either," Peskov said.

Flexibility in making compromises

The presidential press secretary added that the Normandy Four countries (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine) are ready to demonstrate flexibility in searching for a compromise on resolving the situation in Ukraine but without any departure from the Minsk accords, Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"Any compromise does not mean a departure from the Minsk agreements, any departure from the Minsk accords is fraught with a complete chaos in the settlement process," he stressed. "Everyone is ready for any flexibility within the framework of what is enshrined in the Minsk agreements."

At a news conference following the Normandy Four talks in Paris in the early hours of Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that all provisions of the Minsk agreements were closely interrelated. According to the Russian leader, amending any of them could paralyze actions on the settlement in southeastern Ukraine.