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Friday, March 16, 2018

To put pressure on Kiev at any cost: Moscow demolishes the “Norman format”

Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow sees no need to convene the “Normandy four”, as Kiev is not ready to implement the Minsk agreements. In fact, a year of negotiations, the Ukrainian authorities and the representative of the breakaway DPR and LPR are unable to reach any kind of compromise on any of the contentious issues. The same participants argued that progress is not expected even in the foreseeable future. In this respect, the European media reported about the attempts by Paris and Berlin to begin the next round of negotiations in the “Normandy format” to revive the Minsk process. According to rumors, the meeting was to be held before the NATO summit in Warsaw, scheduled for 8-9 July. “MK” has decided to find out from the experts, does the new position of the Kremlin, the death of the quadripartite negotiations on the Donbass, and what you hope to achieve in Moscow?

photo: Natalia Gubernatorova

Oleg BONDARENKO, a political scientist:

– Kyiv is trying to avoid direct dialogue with representatives of the DNI and the LC, so he wants to bring the negotiations “Norman Quartet”, not the “Minsk format”. But in order for peaceful settlement of the conflict began not in words but in reality, warring parties must communicate with each other. Why do we have to play the role of devil’s advocate? Russia is just a guarantor of the Minsk agreements, as Germany and France. The task of Kiev to negotiate with Donetsk and Lugansk on their implementation. If the Contact group will be some positive developments, “Norman four” can gather, but so far no progress there, so don’t expect new meetings of the heads of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine. When this format is only created, some thought that through him the EU will be able to put pressure on Kiev, but recently, the representative of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel told me that the French and Germans can only advise Kiev to make a decision, but no more. To attract US is also useless, because Americans are not interested to address this issue. Therefore, the output from this situation only one: the Ukrainian authorities should commence direct dialogue with representatives of DNR and LC.

Denis DENISOV, the head of the Ukrainian branch of the CIS Institute:

– Moscow is trying to demonstrate to its European partners that if they continue to feign participation in the negotiation process, without exerting any pressure on Kiev, then the “channel format” will be frozen. Because now everyone understands that the Ukrainian authorities depends on the vast majority of the implementation of the Minsk agreements, namely the adoption of laws on the special status of Donbass, Amnesty, local elections and so on. But Kiev continues to sabotage the negotiation process. To stop this is only possible through the influence of the US and the EU.

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