Ukraine stands ready to preserve Normandy format – Kuleba
Ukraine stands for the preservation of the "Normandy format" (Ukraine, Germany, France, Russia) and the continuation of the functioning of the Minsk process to resolve the situation in Donbas, said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
"We are closely following what will happen in practice after appearance of this letter from Mr. Kozak [Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation Dmitry Kozak] on the part of the Russian Federation. Ukraine is absolutely fundamentally disposed to preserve the Normandy format, to continue the functioning of the Minsk process, in which, let me remind you, that in the Trilateral Contact Group, Ukraine and Russia, as parties to the conflict mediated by the OSCE, are looking for solutions that can contribute to a peaceful settlement and lead to it. Therefore, our position is very simple: we will deeply regret if any Russian steps are directed to destroy any element of the Normandy format or the Minsk process," Kuleba said at an online briefing on Friday.
The head of the Ukrainian foreign ministry stressed that in 2014 a whole infrastructure of the peace process was formed, which consists of Normandy summits, the Normandy Four composed of foreign ministers, the Normandy Four of advisors of the leaders of the four countries and the Trilateral Contact Group, consisting of many subgroups.
"Ukraine is interested in preserving this infrastructure, which has shown that it is capable of playing an effective constructive role if the Russian Federation is determined to search for solutions and not create new problems," he explained.
Kuleba added that, apart from this letter from Kozak, which appeared in the media on Thursday, the Foreign Ministry did not see any concrete steps from the Russian Federation.
"That is why we are not in a hurry to draw conclusions, but are waiting for further steps by Russia in this direction," the minister said, stressing that Ukraine is interested in preserving the Normandy-Minsk infrastructure.
"It is very hard for me to imagine how the Minsk process will function without the Normandy format, because it is in the Normandy format that political agreements are reached at the highest level, which are then implemented in the Minsk process. Therefore, this vertical should be preserved. If the vertical is destroyed, it will significantly slow down efforts for a peaceful settlement. Ukraine will not be the country that will slow down the process of achieving peace in Ukraine and de-occupation on our territory," the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
As reported, Kozak wrote a letter to an advisor to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in which he proposed to abandon the negotiations on Donbas at the level of advisors.