During a press briefing on March 31, Ukrainian presidential chief-of-staff Andriy Yermak spoke about the future of the proposed "consultative council," intended to take part in the trilateral contact group in Minsk and contain representatives from the Russian puppet states of the Luhansk and Donetsk "people’s republics."
“The coordinating council was discussed over a phone call with political advisors from the Normandy format. The idea of creating such a council will be considered after consultations with our partners from France, Germany, and the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe – ed.). These consultations are also ongoing,” said Yermak.
The chief-of-staff confirmed that Ukraine’s position has not changed in the matter of the so-called L/DPR, and that Ukraine will not conduct direct negotiations with those so-called "republics."
“I want to remind everyone that the Minsk Agreement contain signatures of representatives of the LPR and DPR. These agreements contain conditions that lay out how Ukraine must pass several legislative acts with representatives of those territories,” stated Yermak, adding that L/DPR representatives are always present at Minsk negotiations, but that “they will never become participants of the Trilateral Contact Group under our tenure.”
Yermak also said that Ukraine is ready to talk to representatives from the occupied territories that are not participants of the Donbas conflict, and that “don’t have blood of Ukrainian soldiers on their hands.”
The chief-of-staff is currently embroiled in a scandal involving leaked videos of his brother, Denys, allegedly offering government appointments for sale.