The Normandy format is the only platform for negotiations on a peaceful settlement in eastern Ukraine, and the responsibility for delaying the progress of the negotiation process lies with the Russian party. This was emphasized by Press Secretary of the President of Ukraine Serhiy Nykyforov in a video commentary.
"The Russian party remains solely responsible for the delay in the Normandy format. Ukraine, France and Germany are ready for contacts at the level of ministers and leaders in the near future. We believe that the essence of the negotiations is to get a result. If the Russian party insists that the outcome should be known before the start of negotiations, it calls into question the negotiation process itself. We call on Moscow to cooperate. Donbas is waiting for peace, and Russia must make a contribution to its achievement," Serhiy Nykyforov said.
The President's Press Secretary also informed that after the appointment of Oleksiy Reznikov to the post of Minister of Defense, Iryna Vereshchuk, who was appointed Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, will join the Ukrainian delegation in the Trilateral Contact Group. MP Andriy Kostin will temporarily act as the first deputy head of the Ukrainian delegation to the TCG.
According to Serhiy Nykyforov, the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group should focus even more on resolving humanitarian and social issues.
"The Office of the President emphasizes the need to intensify work on the release of detainees, ensure normal working conditions of the checkpoints on the touch line. It is also necessary to create a new subgroup that will work to return control over the state border in Donbas to Ukraine. If the Russian party recognizes the Minsk agreements, it must also agree to implement the "Minsk" points at the level of the TCG,” said the President's Press Secretary.
Serhiy Nykyforov noted that the Russian Federation has long kept specific groups of troops near Ukraine's borders, and Ukrainian special services and Ukraine's international partners are working on this issue.
"There is a kind of ongoing reinforcement. Such changes have become the cause of concern for our partners, which resulted in the publications of Western media. But it is too early to draw conclusions about Russia's specific goals and possible developments at the border. The key thing is that Ukraine and our partners carry out full and prompt communication at various levels, and we are ready to respond to any scenarios," the President's Press Secretary summed up.