"Minsk contact group is a pawn in Russia's chess game": Foreign Affairs Expert
Ukraine Today discusses importance of new weapons pullback deal struck by Ukraine contact group with Oleksandr Khara, expert from Maidan of Foreign Affairs organization.
The expert believes there is no such thing as “rebels in Donbas: They are just puppets of the Russian State. Just like a curtain, they are trying to hide behind the aggression, the aggressive war aimed at limiting Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Ukraine Today reports.
“These people, who are meeting in Minsk, do not [decide] anything. They are just fulfilling the will and plans of Mr. Putin. And whether [or not] Mr. Putin has succeeded in New York is the only thing that we should take into account,” says Khara.
Commenting on the recent events in Minsk when militant representatives to the Contact Group didn't actually sign a deal, promising to put their signatures when they return to Donbas, Khara said that this trouble is caused by the fact that the “Ukrainian side does not consider terrorists as part of the talks and agreement, but Russia [does]. And Russia does not consider itself as the part of the talks. They consider themselves as a good mediator. So, that is why our president is saying that there is such an agreement with Russia, meaning Russia but in reality, the Russians are trying to push us to talk directly to terrorists.”
Khara is skeptical about weapons withdrawal considering the amount of heavy artillery remaining in the area and command structures the Russian officers are forming: “So, this withdrawal of weaponry is not really deciding anything. They are not withdrawing it to Russia … and that is why it's just like a chess game. It's not about the real solution that will bring us lasting peace.”
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