Volodymyr Zelenskiy says direct negotiations with illegal armed groups in Donetsk and Luhansk are inadmissible

The Ukrainian authorities are ready to engage in a dialogue with the civil population of the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, not yet with representatives of the illegal armed groups People’s Republic of Luhansk and People’s Republic of Donetsk, the publication “Gordon” quoted the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy as saying in the Munich Security Conference on February 15.

According to the Ukrainian official, the international partners suggested having a direct dialogue with the supporters of a union between the two unrecognized republics, but he didn’t specify these partners.

“They try to persuade us that a direct dialogue with the co-called local authorities of the separatist zones in Donetsk and Luhansk is an efficient mechanism. We are ready for a dialogue with the civil population of these areas, not yet with those who are not recognized in accordance with international law and who cannot thus represent the local population. Moreover, we often talked to the ordinary people living on the temporarily occupied territories. Objectively, the voice of Donbass is not only their opinion, but also of the 1.5 million people from Donetsk and Luhansk who had to flee their homes,” stated Zelenskiy.

He noted that the internally displaced people should be involved in the negotiations on the settlement of the conflict in Donbass. “They should be engaged in consultations based on the Minsk platform and should take an active part in the discussion centering on their future as part of the unified Ukraine,” added Zelenskiy. “We didn’t start this war, but we will end it together with you.”

The 56th Munich Security Conference that traditionally brings together world leaders from politics, academia and civil society was held in Germany on February 14-16.

The Transnistrian conflict settlement process involves the constitutional Moldovan authorities and the de facto administration of the Transnistrian region that promotes the separation of the region from the Republic of Moldova. The negotiations held in the “5+2” format also involve the OSCE, Russia, Ukraine, the U.S. and the EU. During 28 years of talks, the package of political issued by which to agree the status of the Transnistrian region as part of the Republic of Moldova hasn’t been yet discussed.

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