Ukraine urges U.S. to appoint new special envoy – FM Prystaiko

16:36, 16 December 2019
Politics
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REUTERS

"I've spoken with the State Department's envoy about our interest in having such a person who would be able to lead the negotiation team on the U.S. side. We've mentioned there are different options for implementing this. This could be an option as was the case with Victoria Nuland, when she was an official representative of the Department of State and simultaneously served as an assistant to the Secretary of State, responsible for the region [under the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama]," he told UNIAN in an exclusive interview.

Read alsoEx-CIA officer may replace Volker as special envoy to Ukraine – media

Prystaiko said such a person should know in detail what was going on in the region.

"This is convenient in the context that you are aware of what is happening in this region. You have people who work professionally, i.e. diplomats who work in these areas. On the other hand, what [former U.S. special envoy] Kurt Volker did. He was freed from daily routines in all areas and could concentrate only on the Normandy process. Both options are interesting in their own way, and they are important to us," the minister added.

Prystaiko said the Ukrainian side "leaves it up to our U.S. partners to decide how exactly this important communication channel could be realized."

"The direct communication channel was at the level of Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov and Kurt Volker. To be honest, we are experiencing a shortage of this work on the U.S. side, and we would like this vacancy to be filled in any form as soon as possible," he said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Volker had served as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations since July 7, 2017. He resigned late in September 2019 after the publication of a whistleblower's complaint stating that U.S. President Donald Trump had allegedly exerted pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This complaint also mentioned Volker. Later, Volker testified in the U.S. Congress on this issue.

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