The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, informally known as the Minsk negotiations, will continue as planned despite the coronavirus, states the deputy head of the ruling Servant of the People party, Yevheniya Kravchuk. But, Kravchuk added in a comment to hromadske, the negotiations will be held over teleconference, and no new agreements are scheduled to be signed.
Andriy Yermak, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s chief-of-staff, had previously agreed with top Russian negotiator Dmitry Kozak to sign an agreement creating a “consultative council” for the Minsk negotiations on March 25. But that plan seems to have changed.
“There won’t be a physical meeting. It’ll be a videoconference, and obviously you can’t sign any documents during a videoconference, since you have to sign those simultaneously,” said Kravchuk.
The MP also said that Yermak had promised to meet with the party prior to signing any documents.
“And this will additionally be discussed and [he] once again repeated that no red lines would be crossed – that is, no one is recognizing ORDLO (the Ukrainian name for the occupied territories in the Donbas – ed.) as a party to negotiations,” Kravchuk claimed.
However, Yermak’s insistence that the so-called “Luhansk” and “Donetsk People’s Republics” would not be a party to negotiations, despite taking part in this consultative council has not reassured everyone in his party – 29 MPs from Servant of the People had previously addressed an open letter to Zelenskyy asking him to withdraw his consent for the council.