The Russian authorities should stop thinking in terms of war, Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, said on November 1.
The Ukrainian side calls on Russia to fulfill the agreements reached at the Normandy summit in December 2019, he said.
“Residents of Donbass have already seen enough Russian military action, grief and devastation. That is why our state is constantly proposing steps to move from the place of a peaceful settlement. And the Russian Federation ignores them under various pretexts. We call on the Russian Federation to finally stop thinking in terms of war. We expect her to fulfill in good faith the agreements of the summit of the leaders of the “Normandy format” reached in Paris in December 2019, “Nikolenko said in an interview with Hromadske.
According to him, Kiev reserves the right to react to offensive actions in the Donbass.
“At the same time, the Ukrainian side reserves the right to respond to offensive actions, shelling, armed provocations, as provided for by additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire regime of July 22, 2020,” the spokesman added.
Earlier that day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pointed out that the Ukrainian authorities are trying to create a provocative situation and drag Moscow into violent actions. The minister also stressed that Russia does not withdraw from the meeting in the “Normandy format”, but noted that the meeting for the sake of the meeting is not necessary for Moscow.
On October 31, Lavrov said that the Russian Foreign Ministry had passed on to his colleagues in the “Normandy Four” (Germany, Russia, Ukraine, France) proposals on topics for the upcoming meeting and was awaiting a response. According to the minister, Western diplomats say that “we need to meet as soon as possible,” but have not yet conveyed their vision of the expected results of the meeting to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
On October 13, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said that Kiev was waiting for a signal from Moscow to hold a meeting of the Normandy Four Foreign Ministers. He also expressed the opinion that the meeting of the presidents of Russia and Ukraine could take place both within the framework of the “Normandy format” and outside it. However, according to him, Russian officials only comment on such a possibility, but do not give any answer.
In response to this statement, Viktor Vodolatsky, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots, in an interview with Izvestia, stressed that Russia had repeatedly declared its readiness to sit at the negotiating table with the Ukrainian side, but Kiev, “being incapacitated, does not have autonomy in making decisions ”.
Since 2014, Kiev has been conducting a military operation against the residents of Donbass, who refused to recognize the results of the coup d’etat and the new government in Ukraine. At the same time, Kiev blames Moscow for the current situation. Russia has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the internal Ukrainian conflict. The issues of its settlement are being discussed in the Minsk and Normandy formats – with the participation of the Russian Federation, Ukraine, France, Germany.
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