The Ukrainian authorities are demonstrating a level of attention to the Russian Donbass forum that exceeds all expectations: over a week has passed since it was held, but official Kiev is still actively discussing and commenting it, DPR Plenipotentiary Representative and Minister of Foreign Affairs Natalya Nikonorova stated today, on February 8.

“We are, of course, flattered by such interest in what is happening in Donbass. The only pity is that this interest on the part of representatives of Ukrainian politicians is essentially nothing more than another excuse to spread memorized theses in the media that have nothing to do with reality. Moreover, the hypocrisy of the Ukrainian authorities is striking: the Russian Donbass Doctrine, which is essentially a scientific work and a reflection of the moods in society, appears to worry and concern them. However, the Ukrainian leadership does not care at all about the draft laws officially developed in Kiev on the transitional justice and internment, which not only contradict the Minsk Agreements, but also curtail the rights and freedoms of residents of Donbass.

At the same time, it is noteworthy that Ukrainian representatives, in particular the Minister of Foreign Affairs of this state, so often and everywhere speak in accordance with the methodological manuals that they sometimes accidentally reveal the methods and tactics of provocation described in them. Mr. Kuleba claims that the republics are allegedly “undermining the peace talks”, but at the same time they spread the narrative that it is “Ukraine that is killing the Minsk and Normandy processes”. But in fact, the opposite is true: both the Minsk and Normandy formats are being undermined by Kiev in a variety of ways. Ukrainian figures regularly call for rewriting the Minsk Agreements, for including new participants in the Normandy Format, or for openly ignoring the other party to the conflict — Donbass — and declaring that dialogue with us is impossible. And in all of these apparent attempts to frustrate the peace process, either the republics or the Russian Federation are blamed, and some of the individuals involved in the diplomatic negotiations are not at all shy in their expressions.

And quite surreal are the claims that Ukraine has supposedly fulfilled all the instructions of the 2019 Normandy Four summit. During her visit to Donbass, the OSCE Chairwoman Ann Linde, to whom Mr. Kuleba refers in this statement, drew particular attention to the fact that the ceasefire regime was not being observed — as we recall, Ukraine disrupted the measures to strengthen this regime back in September last year, and Ukrainian negotiators stubbornly refuse to agree on a new package of agreements, which we have called for time and again. Even this task of the Normandy format cannot be dealt with by Kiev, so there is no point in talking about other parts of the final communiqué of the Normandy Four leaders, including the agreement on all legal aspects of the political settlement in accordance with the Complex of Measures.

Under such circumstances, all of Mr. Kuleba’s further passages accusing the Russian Federation of blocking the negotiation process cannot be taken seriously. Firstly, because it is high time that the Ukrainian authorities understood that Russia is not a party, but an intermediary in the negotiations, so accusing it of allegedly not fulfilling some obligations, which this state does not have, is the height of nonsense and absurdity. And second, because with each such meeting of the Contact Group disrupted through Kiev’s fault, it becomes increasingly clear to all those interested in the course of the Minsk process that the games and provocations that Kuleba talks about are a very accurate description of just Ukraine’s approach to the peaceful settlement. In this sense, such media revelations by Ukrainian leaders are not perceived as “great revelations”, but rather as an illustration of the proverb “one’s guilty conscience is speaking”,” Nikonorova emphasized.