"Putin will bargain": the TCG announced a scenario for Donbas
Russian President Vladimir Putin may use the situation in Belarus to bargain with the West over the future of Donbas.
Serhii Harmash, a member of the Ukrainian delegation in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on Donbas, expressed the opinion on Ukraine 24 TV channel.
Harmash assumed that Russia had not yet decided on its stand on Belarus.
"If Russia decides to enter Belarus with military force, and it'll cause an international scandal, then Putin will bargain. He can bargain two options: either we stop the conflict confrontation in Donbas, but you turn a blind eye to Belarus, or you get two conflicts both in Belarus and in Donbas," he argued.
The TCG member also noted that Russia is delaying the next meeting in the "Normandy format".
"I don't think the Normandy meeting is happening before the US presidential election. Russia is dragging heels. It is trying to use the situation for the subjectification of separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, to split Ukrainian society, which will affect the local council elections that are taking place in our country. There are many reasons, but the global one is the US election," Harmash explained.
Earlier, the Servant of the People party canceled a meeting scheduled for September 17 due to the illness of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, Oleksii Reznikov. The topic was Rada resolution of the local elections.
The current resolution on local elections, approved by Rada, specifies that local elections in the occupied territories can take place only after ceasing the occupation and Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine, withdrawing all illegal armed groups from Ukraine, and resuming border control.
Russian Federation believes that this resolution contradicts the Minsk agreements, as they contain different conditions of carrying out local elections in separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Andrii Yermak, the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, noted that Ukraine did not promise to change the resolution on local elections in the occupied territories during the meeting of advisers in the Normandy format.