Donetsk, Mar 30 – DAN. Kiev’s rejection of direct dialogue with Donetsk People’s Republic representatives is slowing down the implementation of the Minsk accords on political settlement, DPR representative in the working group on political issues Natalia Mikhailova told the Donetsk News Agency on Tuesday.
On Monday, Kiev’s representative in the Contact Group political subgroup Andrey Kostin said in an interview with the Interfax-Ukraine news agency that Ukraine was not willing to hold talks. Kiev believes that its behaviour is justified as the DPR delegation includes activist Maya Pirogova who had been convicted in absentia in Ukraine. It is her presence that allegedly keeps Ukrainian delegates from dealing with the issues of peaceful conflict settlement.
“To be fair, Ukraine, as a “bad dancer” is always impeded by something, so it regularly voices various far-fetched pretexts to reject direct dialogue with the Republics’ representatives,” Mikhailova said. “This negative trend has already become a norm of behaviour for Ukrainian negotiators in the political subgroup, who have been replacing each other since the subgroup was launched in May 2015. During this period, Ukrainian delegation representatives blocked the group’s work for three years and 11 months, or 68 percent of the whole length of talks.”
At this point, the pressing issue for the political subgroup is joint preparation of the Road Map or conflict settlement plan to step up the negotiations and contribute to the implementation of Package of Measures provisions, she said.
In conclusion, Mikhailova said that if “the Ukrainian delegation had focused the energy on implementing Package of Measures provisions instead of spending it on the search for the new reasons that “prevent” it from dealing with peaceful settlement and conduct direct dialogue with the Republics’ representatives, the residents who live in the conflict zone would have long been living in peace.”
The four Contact Group subgroups are due to hold talks on Tuesday. The Contact Group will sum up the results on March 31. At the previous meeting on March 16, Kiev derailed the talks in the political subgroup as it was not willing to have dialogue with DPR activists.*jk