Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says direct negotiations with leaders of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic" and "Luhansk People's Republic" ("DPR"/"LPR") are a red line Ukraine will never cross.
"No. This is the red line we will not cross. My president is very firm on that," he told HARDtalk TV program on BBC News World TV channel.
"We all know that it was Russia who attacked Ukraine. We all know that the key to the resolution of this conflict is in Moscow, and we are not going to talk with their proxies," Kuleba said.
- In a televised address on April 20, 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invited his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to hold talks in Donbas.
- On April 22, 2021, Putin responded to the invitation by suggesting that Zelensky could discuss the Donbas issue with the "leaders" of the two self-proclaimed republics, the "LPR/DPR," adding that Moscow remained open for contact on any other issues.
- After that, Deputy Head of the Russian Presidential Administration Dmitry Kozak said Moscow had offered Germany and France to hold a Normandy meeting in Donbas with the participation of Ukraine and the "LPR/DPR" terrorist organizations.
- Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak said no one would invite Putin for negotiations in Kyiv. Yermak considers this to be absolutely incorrect.
- Zelensky rejected Putin's offer to hold negotiations involving "LPR/DPR" representatives. The Ukrainian president stressed he would not negotiate with the terrorists.