Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak met with media representatives. The Head of the Presidential Office introduced the members of the Ukrainian delegation established by Presidential Decree № 167/2020 on May 5 this year to participate in the Trilateral Contact Group.
According to Andriy Yermak, the decision to form such a delegation was made due to the lack of progress in the negotiations on peace in Ukraine and the desire of the Ukrainian party to intensify the work of the TCG. He also assured that the official parties to the negotiations have not changed.
"I would like to remind you that the three parties are represented today in the Trilateral Contact Group. In order to avoid speculations, this is unchanged for us - Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. There are no other representatives in the TCG," the Head of the President's Office said.
Andriy Yermak also noted that Ukraine's partners in the Normandy format from France, Germany, Russia, as well as the OSCE were informed about the decision to establish such a delegation, and now it is officially supported by a document - a presidential decree.
The Head of the Office of the President noted that the Trilateral Contact Group continues to operate in four subgroups: security, political, humanitarian and economic.
"I believe that with this step Ukraine once again demonstrates great commitment to implement the Minsk agreements. Second, we demonstrate that we want to move forward and not waste time. As the President said several times, we are not going to hold fruitless negotiations for years," he stressed.
"That is, today we show the world that Ukraine makes every possible step in its interests to end the war and fulfill what is written in the Minsk agreements and what meets our interests," Andriy Yermak added, recalling that the Minsk agreements include items that do not meet the interests of our state.
For his part, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine - Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, First Deputy Head of Ukraine’s Delegation in the TCG Oleksiy Reznikov stressed that the new composition of the delegation is balanced: now there are two members of parliament and two government representatives.
Such a composition will help strengthen Ukraine's positions, he is convinced.
In addition, according to Oleksiy Reznikov, the presence of representatives of various governmental bodies in the delegation will contribute to the transparency of its work.
The First Deputy Head of the TCG delegation also assured that Ukraine's position on peace establishment and elections remains unchanged: Russia must first transfer control over the Ukrainian-Russian border, and only then will it be possible to move to the political aspect.
"There can be no elections at gunpoint. First - security conditions, control over the border by the Ukrainian government, perhaps with the help of some international institutions, but in any case - control, security conditions and only then - local elections," Oleksiy Reznikov emphasized.