Ukrainian Delegate to TCG Garmash says Ukraine has no plans to give any written answers to Russian proxies
Ukraine has no plans to given any written answers to Russian proxy forces in the non-government-controlled areas, Serhiy Garmash, a member of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) for a peace settlement in eastern Ukraine, wrote on Facebook on Feb. 8.
Posting after a meeting of the TCG working group, the delegate stressed that any written response would mean the recognition of the so-called “republics” as a party to the conflict.
On the eve of the TCG meeting, the Ukrainian ZN.UA media outlet reported that representatives of the puppet authorities, Natalia Nikonorova and Vladislav Deinego, had written a letter to the OSCE Chairperson’s Special Representative in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group, Mikko Kinnunen, in which they claimed that at a recent Normandy Four meeting “the Ukrainian side undertook to submit to the Contact Group its written reaction to all proposals on the negotiating table.”
After an advisor-level meeting of Normandy Four (France, Germany, Ukraine, and Russia) in Paris on Jan. 26, Russian representative Dmitry Kozak blamed Ukraine for not reacting to the “proposals of the Donbas” in the TCG on “humanitarian and political issues.”
Ukraine has had a strict policy of not negotiating with the puppet authorities, preferring instead to conduct direct negotiations with Russia.
“Russian representative A. (Alexey) Dmitrievsky insisted that ‘(Ukrainian Presidential Chief-of-Staff Andriy) Yermak said that Ukraine would respond to all proposals for a settlement,’” Garmash wrote.
“This is how we react: We are ready to discuss all proposals that are on the TCG’s agenda. But there has been no agreement on providing them in written form – there is and has not been any. If you read the joint communiqué on the results of the Normandy Four meeting in Paris – not a word about it... Moscow is disappointed.”
Garmash stated that the letter had substituted the Russian wish of Ukrainian negotiations with the puppet authorities, for reality.
The next meeting advisor-level meeting is to be held in Berlin on Feb. 10.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he hopes the meeting will pave the way for a leader-level summit. The last such meeting was held on Dec. 9, 2019, in Paris.
Reaction by President’s Office
Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Zelensky’s Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak, in a comment to the NV weekly news magazine, denied media reports that a written response had been made to the puppet authorities, calling them “the spread of propaganda stovepiping in the Ukrainian media” and “an element of conscious or unconscious collaboration with the aggressor state.”
He said there could be no legally significant obligations of Ukrainian negotiators to any representatives of the occupational authorities, and criticized Ukrainian media, saying “the reports in the interests of obvious occupiers speak of severely shattered media moral guidelines.”
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