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Kiev quashes all parties' negotiation efforts, envoy says

The envoy particularly noted a dialogue with the participation of Donbass representatives

MOSCOW, December 16. /TASS/. Kiev has nullified efforts of all sides in the negotiation process on the situation in eastern Ukraine, Russian Envoy to the Contact Group on resolving the situation in eastern Ukraine Boris Gryzlov said on Wednesday after the Group’s last meeting this year.

"A meeting of the Contact Group largely was dedicated to the results of 2020. For Ukraine this year began with President Vladimir Zelensky’s promises to fulfill the Normandy obligations, approved in order to implement the Minsk Agreements. The year 2020 is over and more than a year elapsed after the Paris Summit number 4, whose decisions should have been implemented by the parties to the conflict during time limits specified in Paris," he said.

"I have to state with regret that recommendations of leaders of Germany, France, the Russian Federation and Ukraine as of today have not been implemented," he pointed out. The envoy added that "the Contact Group notes that they were not implemented because of the official Kiev which instead of detailed work with certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions on settling the conflict replaces it with some procedural initiatives on ‘more frequent meetings’, reformatting its delegation and rotating its members at the Minsk format talks. At the same time, the Verkhovna Rada passes decrees that contradict the Minsk Agreements which reduces to zero the efforts of all sides in the negotiations to settle the conflict."

The envoy particularly noted a dialogue with the participation of Donbass representatives which was held at the UN site and was dedicated to the situation in Donbass and the implementation of the resolution of the UN Security Council in support of the Minsk Agreements. "The Donbass position was declared at a high international level and the results of this meeting, are, without a doubt, important for the Contact Group. Ukraine tried to undermine this dialogue but without success and utterly in vain," the envoy emphasized.

Participation of Donbass in talks

According to him, it is a fact that the Donbass representatives today are involved in the international dialogue. "And this is a direct result of Ukraine’s unwillingness to talk to the Donbass representatives within the framework of the Contact Group. If Ukrainian authorities are pushing Donbass away, then the independent participation of the Donbass representatives in other formats, including international ones, becomes inevitable. The conversation at the UN site took place, the Kiev government cannot hush it up," he noted, expressing hope that as early as this year Kiev will think about changing its position and returning to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

"It is important for the Ukrainian authorities, for the Ukrainian politicians to find a political will in order to begin a direct dialogue with Donbass. The site of the Contact Group is designated and is always open for such a dialogue. There is simply no other path to peace in Ukraine without the unconditional and complete fulfillment of the Minsk Agreements by the Ukrainian authorities. And it will be for the best if already during next year 2021 this opportunity will be indeed implemented," he concluded.