The Ukrainian party continues to sabotage all our attempts to establish productive activities on the political and security fronts, DPR Plenipotentiary and Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova commented on the results of the Contact Group meeting.

“Instead of a dialogue on the most important priority agenda issue  (agreeing on clear modalities for the work of the coordination mechanism for verification and prevention of violations with the participation of the JCCC in the current composition) the Ukrainian negotiators embarked on another speculation. This time within the framework of the topic of repair and restoration work, traditionally blaming the Republic.

In this regard, it was necessary to remind Kiev again that the provision of additional security guarantees, including for carrying out repair and restoration work, would not have been necessary at all if the AFU had consistently and conscientiously observed the ceasefire and measures to strengthen it.

However, the Ukrainian leadership does not show the slightest desire for this and only ignores all our calls to concretize the modalities of the coordination mechanism’s work,” Nikonorova observed.

She stressed that the continuing shelling of the Republic’s territory is another evidence of the obvious unwillingness of the Ukrainian side to productive cooperation to verify violations, and, accordingly, to adhere to an indefinite ceasefire regime.

“Yesterday the official meeting of the political group did not take place because the representatives of Ukraine expressed their refusal to hold full-fledged meetings of the working group until the republics withdraw from the participants in the negotiations or until they join the delegation of the Russian Federation.

It is interesting that today at the meeting of the Contact Group, Mr. Reznikov tried to convince us that his colleague Mr. Merezhko did not voice anything like this, that we misunderstood his statements. In response, we simply gave him a fact confirming Ukraine’s refusal to hold full-fledged meetings: to the question of the OSCE coordinator about whether the negotiators were ready to resume a full-fledged format of meetings within the working group, the answer was “yes” both from the Republics and from the mediator in the person of Russia. Ukraine did not answer this question.

Nevertheless, we are ready to agree that, as Mr. Reznikov tried to assure us today, we have misinterpreted the refusal of the Ukrainian side to resume full-fledged meetings and begin a dialogue with us to agree on a Roadmap for resolving the conflict in accordance with the Minsk agreements. In this case, we perceive such assurances of the Ukrainian negotiators as an acknowledgment of the need and consolidation of the obligation in the near future to finally provide us with responses to the Roadmap, which Kiev has not been able to send for more than 8 months,” Natalia Nikonorova said.

The Plenipotentiary added that for real progress in work on political issues and, first of all, on the Roadmap, full-fledged, formal meetings of the relevant working group are required.