Ukrainian chief negotiator Leonid Kravchuk’s words that the Contact Group talks on the settlement of the conflict in Donbass should be relocated from Minsk indicate Kiev’s unwillingness to observe the existing agreements, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makey said on Saturday.
“Such orgy aroun this statement reveals unwillingness of some Ukrainian politicians to observe the agreements that were reached in Minsk. I think this Mr. Kravchuk’s initiative is ridiculous: ‘We should hold meetings of the Trilateral Contact Group in a neutral country, for instance, in Poland.’ <…> It is hard to find a more ‘neutral’ country than Poland,” he said in an interview with the Belarus-1 television channel.
“The [Belarusian] president has repeatedly said that we have never imposed ourselves as mediators. Neither have we thrusted ourselves into this process we joined at a request from Ukraine, Germany, Russia, and France. We properly did what we were asked: to arrange the work of the Trilateral Contact Group. There have been no claims to us. On the contrary, both the Ukrainian and the Russian sides, and the OSCE thanked us,” he said.
“If they [Ukraine] don’t want to continue to work, well, let them look for another venue. It is not about the venue. It is about sincere commitment to the soonest settlement of the crisis in eastern Ukraine rather than seeking to dodge the Minsk agreements,” he stressed.
According to the Belarusian top diplomat, it doesn’t matter where the Contact Group will meet. “It may gather in Antarctica. What matters is a concrete result that is to be attained,” he added.
Leonid Kravchuk, who leads the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group on the settlement of the conflict in Donbass, said earlier he would never go to Minsk that had hosted the Contact Group’s meetings before the pandemic. He said that Poland could be an alternative venue.