Ukraine will not hold any direct talks with separatists - Yermak
Ukraine will not hold any direct talks with separatists, according to Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian President's Office.
According to Ukrinform, he said this in a post on Facebook, commenting on a meeting of political advisers of the Normandy format, due to be held in Paris on January 26.
"As for the 'news' in the Ukrainian version of a German media outlet. Fortunately, some media outlets do not form the agenda of the Ukrainian delegation. Frankly speaking, various German politicians have recently made so contradictory statements that I do not consider it necessary to comment on them. I think that our Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already assessed them," Yermak said.
According to him, there have been no meetings in the Normandy format for a long time, so it is good that such a meeting will finally take place.
According to him, there is no specific agenda for today's meeting.
"I can say what the Ukrainian delegation plans to talk about. We will be talking about the resumption of the ceasefire, which, unfortunately, works with major violations. We will be talking about humanitarian issues, the opening of checkpoints and the future work of the Normandy format," Yermak said.
Ukraine's position, which has been expressed many times at various levels, remains unchanged, and it is in line with Ukraine's interests, Yermak said.
According to him, "there have not been and there will not be any direct talks with separatists." "And such fabrications are produced thanks to manipulators who have tried many times to create 'betrayal' from the ceasefire, a detainee exchange, the work of the TCG."
Yermak also added that "in the Normandy format, only the leaders of the states have the right to approve any documents, and everything else is just consultations."
"Today we will defend the Ukrainian position. But it is not you [manipulators] who is forming it, but the Ukrainian people," he said.
"Let those who take part in the creation of these fakes go and draw red lines on their foreheads. […] Any insinuations or manipulations are insinuations and manipulations of people who are interested in disrupting the negotiations. Unlike some politicians, we don't engage in business or negotiations with separatists, and we will never do so," Yermak said.
Advisers to the leaders of the Normandy format countries are expected to meet on January 26. Yermak said he hoped that every clause of the Minsk agreements will be worked out at the meeting and that the conversation will be constructive.