Donetsk, Aug 26 - DAN. Contact Group participants at the Thursday video conference were unable to come close even to the discussion of its work procedure, Donetsk People’s Republic representative at the Minsk talks, DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova said.

The Donbass Republics called for developing and adopting an operating procedure for the Contact Group and its subgroups for the first time in April 2015. No progress has been made in the solution of the problem since.

“We proposed to discuss a draft procedure which we sent to the OSCE coordinators the other day for circulation among all Contact Group members,” Nikonorova said. “Instead of starting to work on our draft and supporting at least the provisions to which peace talks participants can hardly object (for  example, the provision on the commitment of all parties to the Package of Measures) Kiev simply withdrew from the discussion.”

“Ukrainian negotiators are apparently interested in productive work at the Minsk talks least of all. For example, Mr Reznikov (first deputy Ukrainian representative -  eds Donetsk News Agency) stated that Ukraine had already brought forward an “excellent version” of the procedure alleging that it had to be taken as the basis. However, this “excellent version” presented by Kiev for discussion more than six months before, actually contained numerous questionable and inexpedient provisions which contradicted the Minsk Agreements,” she underlined.

The DPR foreign minister added that nevertheless, the Ukrainian version also “contained quite reasonable proposals” which the Republics had taken into account in their own version of the procedure.*jk