The Presidential Administration has explained that the statement of the head of state, Volodymyr Zelensky, about Russia's "loss of control over its mercenaries" meant the Russian Federation controls the entire conflict in Donbas.
Speaking at a Kyiv briefing on Monday, president's press secretary Yulia Mendel said the president’s message meant that "Russia is an aggressor state that controls armed formations on the territory of the occupied Donbas", and due to the escalation of the conflict, Zelensky called for a reduction in the number of shellings in Donbas.
At the same time, the press secretary noted that "there is a legal conflict" as to how many participants are represented in the Minsk negotiation process, since Russia insists that the illegal formations of the "DPR" and "LPR" under its control are considered parties to the conflict in Donbas.
"Ukraine defends such a point of view that there are only three parties to the Trilateral Contact Group," Mendel said, stressing that we are talking about Russia, Ukraine, and OSCE.
"We are talking about the fact that there are no so-called leaders of the 'DPR/LPR'," said Mendel.
She clarified that Russia is participating in the negotiations as an aggressor state. "With this statement, the President reiterated Ukraine's position that Russia controls the entire conflict and brings conflict to Donbas. Therefore, we don't see any points that could cause such an interest to this phrase," the spokesperson noted.