The self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics proposed holding a meeting at the level of advisers to the heads of state of the Normandy Four Format.
The DPR and LPR however deem it necessary that the US also participates, so that the negotiations can be restarted to resolve the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
“Considering the constructive outcome of the recent summit of the leaders of Russia and the United States in this matter, as well as the high level of influence of the United States on Ukrainian politics, holding such a meeting would be an adequate investment in resolving the seven-year conflict,” Miroshnik said.
According to him, official proposals with a request to initiate the meeting were passed on to the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Russian President’s Administration Dmitry Kozak and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. According to Miroshnik, a meeting in the “Normandy format” with the participation of the United States and the self-proclaimed LPR and DPR would give a chance to restart the peaceful dialogue.
“The constructive basis of the meeting should be the adherence of all its potential participants to the Minsk Agreements and an understanding of their lack of alternatives at the moment,” the LPR representative emphasized.
Officials of Ukraine are in favor of US participation in the Normandy format. Thus, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for the Temporarily Occupied Territories Alexei Reznikov said that US participation is possible and acceptable at the level of the “Normandy format” and the Trilateral Contact Group on resolving the situation in Donbass.
He explained this by the fact that the United States is a member of the OSCE and the guarantor of the Budapest Memorandum. The head of the Ukrainian delegation to the trilateral contact group, Leonid Kravchuk, believes that the involvement of the United States in the Normandy Four will help “significantly increase” its influence on Moscow on the situation in Donbass.
In Russia, attracting the United States to the Normandy format is viewed with caution. In April of this year, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov noted that the line pursued by the United States in the Ukrainian direction makes it impossible for the United States to participate in the “Normandy format” on the settlement in Donbass.
The “Normandy format” negotiations on Ukraine were first held in June 2014 during the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the landing of allied troops in Normandy. The heads of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France then discussed the settlement of the conflict in Donbass.
At the Normandy Four summit on December 9, 2019 in Paris, the participants adopted a final statement, but most of it remained unfulfilled.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine are capable of seizing part of the territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, said the adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak, a member of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) Oleksiy Arestovich.
According to him, Ukraine does not fulfill the Minsk agreements for a reason. He noted that the document, which was approved by a special resolution of the UN Security Council, allegedly has no binding character.
“The political part of the Minsk agreements is debatable. That is, it is a subject of negotiations. What is the whole catch: for some reason everyone thinks that the Minsk agreements are uncontested and must be fulfilled. But this is not the case. Minsk – 2 is the goodwill of the parties. This is an international legal treaty that is not binding, that is, there are no legal consequences for failure to comply with it. This means that the document is executed when there is goodwill on both sides,” he said.
He also stated that the Minsk agreements were not approved by a special resolution of the UN Security Council. According to him, in the English version of the document there is no word “approves”, but there is “welcomes”. It is because of this, Arestovich said, that Ukraine should not fulfill the Minsk agreements.
The adviser to the Ukrainian delegation in the TCG spoke about the military solution to the conflict in Donbass. According to him, the armed forces of Ukraine could seize the DPR and LPR, seizing part of the territory. This would make, in his opinion, impossible for the further existence of the people’s republics.
“What is Donbass – a large urban agglomeration, so such sacrifices are unacceptable for us. The only option when we can go on an armed offensive is if a war is imposed on us. Then we will launch a counteroffensive. But we ourselves will not “liberate” Donbass by military means. Only dense urban development stops us from attacking. And this means that if there are battles, the civilian population will inevitably die. We can, of course, recapture the Donbass. We will liberate that part of the territory that will make the continued existence of the DPR and LPR impossible. We will surround, divide and we will reach the border with Russia with artillery,” he summed up.
As such, the DPR and LPR have a lot to worry about, and they are attempting to pull in Ukraine’s “executive” – Washington.
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