Kozak Announced Russia’s Donbass Advisor Talks Withdrawal

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Dmitry Kozak, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Russia, proposed abandoning negotiations on Donbass at the level of advisers. This is stated in the document received by the newspaper “Strana.ua”. A Moscow spokesman said that the work of advisers to the heads of state of the “Normandy format” is inefficient, and called negotiations in such a format “pointless”. According to him, the recent ceasefire agreement in Donbass was adopted without France and Germany, based entirely on Moscow’s proposals. In addition, Kozak criticized the draft document within the framework of the Normandy Four, as attempts to charge it with meaning “do not meet any enthusiasm from other participants in the format”. “This leads to the thought to ​​stop the pointless negotiations of N4 advisers. The experiment can be continued, but without Russia. I claim, with all of my responsibility, that I have no intention to continue participating in this endless “charade” with a blatant simulation of frantic activity to solve the conflict,” he wrote. Kozak offered assistants to the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France to focus solely on technical support of the meetings of heads of state. At the same time, he proposed the issues handled currently by the advisers be coordinated by the Foreign Ministers of the Normandy Four. Earlier, Kozak said that the negotiations between the political advisers of the leaders of the Normandy Four on the status of Donbass did not lead to a breakthrough because of Kiev’s position. He said that Ukraine could not provide a clear and intelligible answer about the timelines for developing a document that would make it possible to amend the country’s Constitution in order to consolidate the Donbass status. Earlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the self-proclaimed DNR stated a breakthrough at the contact group on the settlement of the conflict in Donbass. It is noted that the meeting achieved results in terms of agreement and approval by the parties of a package of additional control measures for the current ceasefire regime. The conflict in Donbass began in 2014, part of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions declared independence. Ukraine accuses Russia of occupying these territories. Moscow rejects the claim.