She stated that while Russian President Vladimir Putin insists on direct contact with "DPR" and "LPR," "these direct contacts already exist through the trilateral contact group with representatives from Donetsk and Luhansk. And the problem over the last few days, and the problem of the last meetings actually was rather more than that, there was not really that much of an end result - if they matter at all, or if representatives from Donetsk and Luhansk were there at all. Sometimes they didn't even arrive.
"And this was, after all, for me, the core of the Minsk agreement, that there are local elections in accordance with the Ukrainian constitution and that the outcome of that is that you have representatives, authorities that can speak for those regions. And the Ukrainian President has paved the way for this, to giving certain specific status to the oblasts of Luhansk and Donetsk. And these elections are an essential point that will then enable us to say, well, maybe now there can be contacts even without a trilateral group.
"And this is actually on the agenda of the many talks that we need to make. But I can very well understand the Ukrainian side, that the territory they consider to be part of their territory and that anything else would violate their territorial integrity, that they want to actually see that elections take place there. And that has also been stated by President Putin that he wishes to see those elections happening there," the Chancellor noted.