In the course of his first briefing, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Kostiantyn Yelisieiev informed on the results of negotiations between President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and President of France Francois Hollande in Berlin.
The Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration characterized negotiations as a “sincere and frank 5-hour conversation aimed to analyze the progress in the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements against the backdrop of escalation in Donbas”.
He also informed that the parties defined “critical points” in the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements, outlined tactics and prospects of further development of the Minsk process and clearly formulated tasks that the Russian party must fulfill in order to implement the Minsk agreements appropriately.
Explaining the trilateral format of the meeting, Kostiantyn Yelisieiev noted that the given initiative of the President was not spontaneous. “It is a whole set of measures, which demonstrates that the President is willing to intensively work in order to strengthen the pro-Ukrainian coalition and ensure conscientious fulfillment of the Minsk agreements by all parties”.
The parties discussed the so-called “red lines”. “If Russia crosses them, this will lead to a resolute reaction from the international community, particularly the EU,” K. Yelisieiev said.
“Our European partners strongly endorsed the concept of close correlation between the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements and the increase of sanctions against Russia. We agreed that the EU will prolong personal sanctions against certain Russian officials involved in destabilization of the situation in Donbas in September if the situation is not changed,” he informed.
The Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration informed that the Ukrainian delegation headed by the President outlined clear and reasoned position of Ukraine. “We provided concrete facts, figures and maps that prove the presence of Russian troops in Donbas,” he said.
According to K. Yelisieiev, one of the “red lines” is the intention to hold local elections in the occupied areas. Russia must make its accomplices abandon the idea of holding these elections. “Otherwise, they will become a serious challenge for the peace process. I think that certain contacts with the Russian party will be organized shortly in order to prevent these elections. We expect a very tough reaction for these actions from the international community,” the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration noted.
K. Yelisieiev noted that the meeting between the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia can take place in the framework of the Normandy format. “Such meeting may be held next month, but it depends on the other parties to negotiations,” he informed.
At the same time, he added that Ukraine is open for any types of modifications of the Normandy format, particularly “Normandy + other countries”.
“We demand the Russian Federation to fully implement the Minsk agreements: compliance with the ceasefire regime, withdrawal of heavy weaponry, termination of weapons’ supply for militants, cessation of provocations against OSCE inspectors, access to certain territories for the ICRC,” the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration emphasized.
Kostiantyn Yelisieiev also informed on constant consultations with Poland. At the beginning of September, Special Envoy of the Polish President will arrive in Ukraine to discuss the road map of bilateral relations between the two Presidents and possible engagement of Poland in the settlement of the situation in Donbas. “We appreciate Poland’s willingness to join the peacekeeping initiatives,” he said.
Speaking of the sentence of the Russian court for Oleh Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko, the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration noted: “The reaction of Europe will be very tough. We expect demarches from our European allies and partners. We will work with international structures, namely the Council of Europe, United Nations and Commission on Human Rights for our citizens to be liberated and come back home”.