Donetsk, May 8 – DAN. Donbass resettlers, if involved in the Minsk talks, will defend the interests of Kiev, not local residents’, which will not help resolve the conflict, Donetsk People’s Republic representative to the Minsk talks, DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova told the Donetsk News Agency on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, head of the Ukrainian President Office Andrey Yermak told reporters that Kiev would include in its delegation at the Minsk talks resettlers from Donbass to represent the interests of the region. These negotiators are Ukrainian citizens from the ranks of displaced persons who do not currently reside in Donbass.
“We are very surprised that amid the blatant ceasefire violations by Ukraine, Kiev authorities are flaunting their idea in the mass media to involve in resettlers from Donbass in the Minsk talks,” Nikonorova said. “It is pretty obvious that the persons who live in Ukraine-controlled towns cannot represent the Republic’s population which regularly comes under fire from Ukrainian armed formations.”
The situation is very tense, so in order to start easing tensions, Ukrainian leaders, instead of indulging in populism, have to immediately contribute to ensuring ceasefire, thoroughly investigate all truce violations and punish perpetrators of the crimes, she said. Secondly, Kiev has to talk not with resettlers but representative of the second party to the conflict, namely People’s Republics. Only direct, responsible and mutually respectful dialogue can bring the parties closer to settlement.
“In fact, Ukrainian authorities want to talk with themselves. That’s not the way to settle the conflict,” the DPR diplomat said.*jk