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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Ukraine is opposed to bringing Russian-controlled militants in Donbas to the "Normandy format" of talks, as this would legitimize Russia's crimes against the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

That's according to Kateryna Zelenko, a speaker for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose comment came as a response to a journalist's question regarding statements suggesting attracting representatives of the occupation authorities in eastern Ukraine to the Normandy talks.

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"We strongly condemn any attempts at any contacts with the so-called 'republics' in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. In no way do such contacts, even if disguised as 'mediation', contribute to peace. On the contrary, they are harmful and aimed at legitimizing Russia's crimes against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and international law in general," Zelenko emphasized.

At the same time, the diplomat recalled that the formula for achieving peace in Ukraine is very simple – it's about the withdrawal of Russian troops and restoration of Ukraine's control over the state border.

"This position is also supported by the German government, whose efforts in resolving the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in Donbas are highly valued in Ukraine," Zelenko said. Also, she also said that any provocation by apologists of Russia's aggressive policies shall be perceived in Ukraine as complicity in a crime.