The first meeting of the Contact Group in 2021 unfortunately took place in a destructive manner when it comes to political issues, the press service of the DPR Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports.

“Instead of finally engaging in substantive activities to unblock the work on the political track, Ukrainian representatives are doing everything possible to further exacerbate the already extremely deep stagnation in the negotiation process. We have been waiting for more than three months for a response to our draft of the Road Map. But the Ukrainian side, judging by the statements they made today, still have not found time even to read the text of our paper, let alone prepare any comments or responses to it,” Natalya Nikonorova said.

Instead, Ukrainian negotiators have time for making some other proposals and documents within the Normandy format. Despite our repeated questions in this regard, we have not received a response from Ukrainian representatives as to what document still reflects Ukraine’s official position and what document should be worked on at the Minsk venue.

“Moreover, we heard appeals from Mr. Kravchuk to wait until there are results of tomorrow’s meeting of advisors to the Normandy Four leaders and only then begin working on the Road Map. But the appeals to “wait until there are results” are in fact nothing more than the evidence of Kyiv’s unwillingness to work in a substantive and constructive manner on the real political settlement. Once again, we remind you that such a settlement is only possible in the Minsk format, in which the parties to the conflict — Kiev and Donbass — have the opportunity to communicate and coordinate issues directly.

Furthermore, we have an absolutely transparent and understandable proposal: to begin discussions on the Republics’ draft, since there have been no objections to it either from Ukraine or from the mediators in the person of the OSCE and the Russian Federation. However, the Ukrainian side has been rejecting this plain and logical idea for several meetings now without a single intelligible argument.

Under the circumstances, we stated that Ukraine currently has only two options: either to start working with us on the Road Map, taking into account and based on the draft we proposed, in full compliance with the Minsk Agreements, or to withdraw its signature from the Complex of Measures,” the DPR Plenipotentiary stressed.