DPR/LPR's failure to recognize Kuchma as Ukraine's representative at Minsk talks shows they're unwilling to negotiate – Foreign Ministry
The failure to recognize former President Leonid Kuchma as a Ukrainian representative at the Minsk talks by the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DRP and LPR) shows their unwillingness to negotiate amid the worsening situation in Donbas, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yevhen Perebyinis has said.
"These demands are groundless. I think it's a way to cover up the inability or unwillingness to negotiate and achieve an actual de-escalation of the situation," he said at a briefing on Tuesday.
Perebyinis noted that a decree made by Ukrainian President Poroshenko on granting Kuchma the authority to represent Ukraine in the trilateral contact group for the peaceful settlement of the situation in Donbas had been announced.
"I think there can be no questions from this point," Foreign Ministry's Spokesman said.
As reported, Alexander Zakharchenko, the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, said that the next round of the Minsk negotiations would not go ahead until Kyiv appoints an official representative. "We won't hold the Minsk meeting until an official person is appointed by Ukraine. Kuchma is a private individual," Zakharchenko told reporters.
Talks were held in Minsk on January 31. On the same day, Kuchma said that the round of talks had been derailed.
"Today's consultations under the plan for the implementation of the Minsk agreements, which lists concrete measures to achieve the earliest possible de-escalation of the situation, have been aborted due to the non-arrival of Alexander Zakharchenko and Ihor Plotnytsky, who are signatories to the Minsk documents, to ultimatums from their representatives Denis Pushylin and Vladyslav Deineho, and to their refusal to discuss the plan of measures for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy armaments," Kuchma told Interfax-Ukraine.
On Sunday, Kuchma said that representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics had threatened to resume full-scale fighting along the frontline if their demands were not met.
Poroshenko's Order No.953/2014-rp of July 8 2014 was posted on Monday, authorizing former president Leonid Kuchma to represent Ukraine in the trilateral contact group for settling the situation in Donbas.
"Leonid Kuchma will perform the duties, envisioned in the order, by way of public service," the decree says.