DPR advises Zelensky on how to spur the Minsk talks

April 26, 2021 16:37 // Updated: April 26, 2021 16:37

Donetsk, Apr 26 – DAN. Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky must execute pressure on Kiev representatives in the Contact Group, said DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova.

Earlier Zelensky told Financial Times that the Minsk Agreements should be amended and the number of the Normandy format participants increased to include USA, Great Britain and Canada. He said that the talks should be more flexible and dynamic. Zelensky also confirmed his willingness to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding that the location does not matter, “it’s the essence that matters”.

“Zelensky’s concern about the negotiations dynamics looks extremely hypocritical,” Nikonorova said.

“Kiev representatives do everything possible to protract the talks. If the Ukrainian leader wanted to spur the talks for real, we can give him a clue: for instance he could execute pressure on his reps in the Contact Group to make them file commentaries on our Road Map draft, which was disseminated seven months ago, and we are still waiting for an answer.”

Nikonorova described Zelensky’s calls on amending the Minsk talks as a “let’s get back to square one” stance.

“As soon as Ukrainian leadership feel the lack of enthusiasm to conceive ways of avoiding the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, they go back to their beloved declaration that the Minks process must be flexible.”

The problem is, she said, that by flexible Ukraine usually means “rewritten, amended, altered”, but never “harmonized in all aspects and fulfilled”.

The Agreements dated September 5 and 19, 2014 and February 12, 2015 forged by the Contact Group in Minsk make groundwork for a peaceful settlement of the Donbass conflict. The Contact Group set forth a peace plan and agreed a ceasefire, then adopted the Memorandum on ceasefire implementation and later on the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

The Package of Measures envisions a constitutional reform in Ukraine that provides for deep decentralization taking into account the specificities of certain areas in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, agreed with the representatives of these areas (Article 11).*ot

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