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Kremlin reveals why Medinsky was chosen as negotiator with Kiev

"Vladimir Medinsky has certain business-like qualities and is proficient in the most profound expert analysis and he is an aide to the head of state," Dmitry Peskov said

MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. Russian Presidential Aide Vladimir Medinsky is representing Moscow at the current negotiations with Kiev because he possesses certain vital, professional qualities and extremely profound expertise, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

"Medinsky has certain business-like qualities and is proficient in the most profound expert analysis. He is a top-level representative. He is a presidential aide. All that is needed for holding negotiations and this is what the president took into account, in the first place," Peskov said, responding to a question about the Kremlin’s pick for Russia’s negotiator.

Medinsky is also an aide to the head of state, the press secretary pointed out.

"This is generally a fairly high-profile post," Peskov emphasized.

Responding to a remark that Deputy Head of the Russian Presidential Administration Dmitry Kozak had been previously in charge of Ukraine-related issues, the Kremlin spokesman explained: "Dmitry Nikolayevich [Kozak] will continue dealing with social, humanitarian and other development issues regarding the Donbass republics."

Moscow reached an agreement with Kiev on February 27 on holding talks in the Gomel Region in Belarus. The Russian delegation is headed by Medinsky.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on Thursday morning that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.

When clarifying the unfolding developments, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.