The second president of Ukraine, representative of Ukraine at the trilateral contact group on settlement of the conflict in the Dondas Leonid Kuchma said, Censor.NET informs citing Interfax-Ukraine.
"Do you know what Russia insists on? They want the format to be not trilateral as agreed by the leaders of the Normandy format. They want a Trilateral group to be extended by representatives of separate areas of the Donbas. We cannot agree with that," Kuchma told the journalists on Wednesday in Kyiv.
He stressed that representatives of the "DPR" and "LPR" should take part in the consultations "not as persons being entitled to vote but as consultants. We are carrying out wide negotiation process with them, but the decisions should be taken by different people," Kuchma said.
According to him, this is going to be one of major issues at the forthcoming meeting of the "Normandy four" in Paris at the level of deputy foreign ministers. "We are going to hear today whether Russia will change its position. I am sure it will be one of the main problems there. It is difficult to predict what instructions has the representative of Russia been given," Kuchma added.
He also believes that the deterioration of the situation in the east of Ukraine was "to some extent" related to such Russia's position concerning the trilateral consultations. "It is connected not only to the situation in Minsk, it is also related to the G7 summit, it is associated with the fact that the EU summit, where the problems of sanctions to be discussed, should take place shortly," Kuchma said.
According to him, Russia is making a message: "We will behave the same way as before regardless of the sanctions.We all clearly understand that all those sanctions will never change the position of Russia. Their reserves are still very large and they will get through. It is more difficult for Europe to get through than for Russia," he summed up.