Yermak comments on the idea of creating a Donbas advisory council / Photo from UNIAN

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak says the idea of creating an advisory council as part of the Minsk Trilateral Contact Group's political subgroup on Donbas will be considered after consultations with partners from France and Germany, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

"Regarding the Advisory Board… Yes, indeed, this board was discussed in the format of a telephone conversation between political advisers of the Normandy Four. This is a decision which was made in Minsk. The idea of creating such a board will be further considered after consultations with our partners from France, Germany and the OSCE," Yermak said at a briefing on March 31.

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"These consultations are still ongoing," he added.

As UNIAN reported, Minsk on March 11 hosted a Trilateral Contact Group meeting with the participation of head of the Ukrainian President's Office Andriy Yermak and Deputy Head of the Russian President's Administration Dmitry Kozak. The two agreed to sign the TCG decision on the establishment of an "advisory council" as part of the political subgroup after consultations with representatives of the OSCE, France, and Germany for the implementation of the agreements reached during the Normandy summit. The signing was scheduled to take place at the next meeting in Minsk on March 25.

Later, the Ukrainian-registered Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (Mirror Weekly) outlet published a copy of the minutes of the meeting signed in Minsk on March 11. According to the document, the criteria and procedure for appointing council members shall be independently determined by Ukraine, de-facto authorities of the occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the Russian Federation, Germany, France, and the OSCE.

Ten representatives from Ukraine and the Russia-occupied areas of Donbas will each have the right to casting votes, and one representative each from Russia, Germany, France, and the OSCE will act in an advisory capacity.

A few days later, about 60 MPs with the Servant of the People Party called on President Zelensky to halt the process of creation of the advisory council.