DONETSK (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 06th December, 2019) Kiev's idea to change the representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) in the contact group goes against the Minsk protocols, DPR Foreign Minister Natalya Nikonorova said on Thursday.
Earlier on Thursday, Andriy Yermak, an assistant to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said that Kiev favored other representatives from the DPR and LPR in the contact group for Donbas. He stressed that people who have some type of legal connection to these areas should be negotiating, such as those who are residents, or own businesses or real estate there.
"Kiev's plans to change the composition of the contact group completely contradict the main purpose of the Minsk process, designated to put the opposing parties at the negotiating table to resolve the conflict. If Kiev will unilaterally choose with whom to negotiate, then the whole process will lose its meaning," she said.
Since April 2014, the Ukrainian government has been conducting a military operation against the self-declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. There have been many attempts to resolve the conflict or, at the very least, stop the shooting. On July 17, during the meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk, the participants agreed to the latest ceasefire, which then came into force four days later.