Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak emphasizes that holding local elections in the territory of Donbas not controlled by Ukraine is possible only after full deoccupation, settlement of all security issues and under observance of OSCE standards.
Speaking on Savik Shuster's Freedom of Speech program on Friday, theHead of the President's Office reminded that Ukraine is negotiating with Russia in two formats: Minsk and Normandy. And recently there was a meeting of political advisors to the leaders of the "Normandy Four" in Berlin.
"We are in difficult negotiations - I will not conceal that, but there is a substantial Ukrainian victory - we have the seventh week of the regime of silence," Andriy Yermak said.
He agreed that the ceasefire is not ideal, there are numerous provocations from the other side, which resulted in the death of the Ukrainian military. But the regime of silence allows negotiations to continue.
"Negotiations are underway, we are working 24/7, and I believe that we, the Ukrainian government - the President and the whole team - are doing everything to make the dream of all Ukrainians that peace come to our land come true," he said.
The Head of the President's Office noted that he always clearly understands Ukrainian national interests in negotiations, despite the statements made, in particular, by Deputy Head of the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Kozak.
"We have a clear position, we have a clear goal. It is difficult to say what is in the head of another person - we pursue our interests. We work for Ukraine," Andriy Yermak stressed.
He also denied the information of his predecessor as Head of the Office of the Head of State Andriy Bohdan about the alleged existence of a secret list of agreements with Russia.
"It simply cannot exist theoretically," Andriy Yermak noted.
Asked by the host whether the Verkhovna Rada intends to amend the resolution on the appointment of local elections in Ukraine, which allegedly hinders further progress in the negotiations, as Dmytro Kozak said, the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine noted that only the Ukrainian parliament has the authority to adopt laws and regulations.
"Neither politicians in Ukraine, nor politicians from outside especially, can promise anything or say that something will be adopted," he said.
Andriy Yermak confirmed that the resolution on local elections adopted by the Verkhovna Rada does cause difficulties in the negotiation process.
"But when we met in Berlin, I informed the representatives of the “Normandy Four" that indeed today the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine registered a resolution on amendments to the resolution on local elections. It was introduced by MP Kachura, and when it is determined by the Verkhovna Rada, it will enter the hall, and its fate will be decided there," the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine said.
"If you ask my personal position, I believe that the decision should be made in accordance with the interests of our state, the existing obligations, the rules of international law. However, it will be decided by the Verkhovna Rada," he added.
Andriy Yermak stressed that holding elections in the territory of Donbas not controlled by Ukraine is possible only after full deoccupation and settlement of all security issues. In addition, the elections must be held in accordance with the standards of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
"I think all Ukrainians are used to it: President Zelenskyy fulfills everything he promises. Therefore, I have no doubt that President Zelenskyy will end this war during his term," he said.