Volker calls recent meeting with Surkov on peacekeeping in Donbas "step back"
U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker has said that Vladislav Surkov, an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, during their last meeting in Belgrade on November 13 on a UN peacekeeping mission in Donbas returned to Moscow's primary positions, voiced at the beginning of this negotiation process.
"Our third meeting was a step back. They went back to their original proposal again. I don’t know what the next step after this is. It could be that that happened for completely other reasons having nothing to do with Ukraine, just where we are in our U.S.-Russian relationship. It could have had to do with the lack of a bilateral meeting between President Putin and President Trump," Volker said in an interview with The Global Politico magazine posted on Monday.
He also noted that despite the futility of the previous meeting, the discussions will continue. "And we've got to see then what happens at our next meeting, which will be some time in December." U.S. representative said.
The U.S. Special Envoy for Ukraine added that he believes the negotiations with Surkov are important. "I think only President Putin can decide. But he [Surkov] has the ability to communicate with President Putin, and so that's very important," Volker said.