Sat, 29 Jan 2022

Kyiv [Ukraine], November 28 (ANI/Sputnik): Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has accused Russia of blocking Normandy Format talks on the resolution of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine (Donbas).

"2014 showed that the line between the demonstration and the use of power is extremely thin for Russia. It's not only about the military buildup, it's also about Russia's de facto blocking of the Normandy Format and the Trilateral Contact Group, as well as the increasing tensions in Belarus," Kuleba told Die Zeit.

The foreign minister said that Ukraine needs support from foreign nations to prevent the situation in Donbas from deteriorating further.

Asked about Kiev's use of drones in Donbas, in violation of the Minsk agreements and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) protocol, Kuleba accused Russia of shelling Kiev's positions in Donbas and said that Kiev "met all the requirements before actually using a drone without violating Minsk."The Ukrainian foreign minister admitted nonetheless that there is "nothing better than Minsk" and that Kiev "desperately" wants to avoid a military scenario in Donbas.

"At the moment, Normandy and Minsk are in a coma, but they are still alive, and we have to try to bring them back to consciousness," Kuleba told Die Zeit.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier this month that a meeting in the Normandy format was going to take place only after Kiev fulfills everything that was enshrined in the Minsk agreements.

The Russian Embassy to the US said last week that Moscow hopes that the United States will influence Ukraine so that Kiev will fulfill its obligations under the Minsk agreements on settling the conflict in Donbas. Earlier, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said that the US welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin's statement about resolving the conflict in Donbas based on the Minsk agreements.

The ongoing conflict in southeastern Ukraine, where the Ukrainian military launched a special operation against the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics in 2014, has killed thousands of people. The Normandy Four format , which includes Russia, France, Germany, and Ukraine, was established in June 2014 to mediate the conflict after the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, known together as Donbas, proclaimed independence following what they considered to be a coup in Kiev in February of that year. Despite several ceasefire agreements reached under the Normandy format, the Donbas conflict continues. (ANI/Sputnik)

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