Head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak has said the work of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on resolving the situation in Donbas is blocked since Russia is constantly trying to impose on Ukraine a direct dialogue with the Donbas terrorists.
Speaking during an online discussion titled "Conflict in the East of Ukraine: Prospects for 2021" on March 9, he stressed Russia is a party to the conflict in Donbas, not a mediator or moderator.
"... [T]he work of the Trilateral Contact Group has recently been blocked namely for this reason. It's blocked not because it doesn't hold meetings. A conference call is held every two weeks, while the Ukrainian delegation is ready to work 24 hours a day, and our delegates always attend," he said.
Read alsoUkraine, Germany, France develop peace plan for Donbas, awaiting approval from Russia – YermakYermak said that during TCG conference calls, Russians had recently been trying to impose on Ukraine a direct dialogue with representatives of the self-proclaimed authorities in occupied Donbas who are in fact just invitees, not a party to the negotiations within the TCG.
"A situation is being created that I constantly keep addressing during TCG meetings: why have we forgotten that there is Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE in it, while France, Germany, Ukraine, and Russia comprise the Normandy format?" he added.
Yermak says Ukraine has no intention to conduct negotiations with terrorists.
"But we understand they haven't been recognized by anyone throughout these years, even by Russia, but they attend the talks from the side of the Russian Federation. We are against them becoming a party to these negotiations. Russia must be a party to the negotiations, and all our partners should remind them of this," the diplomat added.