U.S. participation in talks on Donbas could reinforce Normandy format / Photo from UNIAN

Head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on Donbas Leonid Kravchuk says the participation of the United States in talks on Donbas could reinforce the Normandy format, which currently includes Ukraine, Germany, France, and Russia.

"I think the issue of the U.S. participation … it would be necessary in the Normandy format since it could be possible to significantly reinforce this format and significantly increase its influence on the Russian Federation's aggressive actions," he told Ukraina 24 TV channel, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

Read alsoFM Kuleba: Consensus needed for U.S. to join Normandy talks on DonbasKravchuk reiterated the Geneva format of negotiations with the participation of the U.S., the European Union, Ukraine, and Russia had been created since the beginning of Russia's war against Ukraine in 2014.

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"But later, for some reason, our government at that time decided that it could implement [the then President Petro] Poroshenko's peace plan through the Minsk format, and, unfortunately, in my opinion, it was a mistake," Kravchuk said.

Asked whether Russia would agree to the U.S. joining the Normandy format talks, the official said: "I think it will never agree to anything."

"But this does not mean at all that we should look at Russia and do what it wants. It does not agree in the [UN] Security Council ... It takes a stance that is an open violation of the norms and principles of international law," Kravchuk said.

He said Ukraine would persistently, systematically and conclusively respond to Russia's actions.

Also, Kravchuk stressed Ukraine should impose various sanctions in different forms on the Russian Federation and put pressure pursuant to international law. In his opinion, Ukraine should force Russia into acting within the framework of such a law.

According to earlier reports, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he would like to involve U.S. President Joe Biden in the Normandy format, or create another, parallel format with the United States and Russia to address the Russian occupation of Crimea among other issues.

Normandy format: What is known

  • The Normandy format is a type of meetings in a quadripartite format, involving Ukraine, Germany, France, and Russia, where issues of Russian armed aggression against Ukraine are discussed.
  • The name of the format comes from a summit of four leaders, which first took place in Benouville, a commune in the Normandy region, northwestern France, on June 6, 2014.