Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has called the decision to expand the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group for settlement in Donbass "a very correct step" and hopes that Russia will do the same.
"I believe we have really taken a very right step [to expand the delegation], we are backed here by both Germany and France. We would also like Russia to join this format. Why? Because we want everything to be very quick, so that people who are at the Contact Group’s meetings could make decisions so that they have status, a state status," Zelensky told reporters on Friday.
Zelensky confirmed the expanded Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group on Tuesday. The delegation’s head and his first deputy will be now tasked with selecting deputies of Ukraine’s representatives in working subgroups and engage MPs, members of state bodies, advisers, experts and technical staff, TASS reports.
Former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma will remain the head of delegation. Under the decree, the delegation will also consist of deputy prime minister, minister for reintegration of uncontrolled Donbass territories, Alexei Reznikov (first deputy head of the delegation), head of the Verkhovna Rada committee for foreign policy issues and inter-parliamentary cooperation, Alexander Merezhko (deputy head of the delegation), deputy minister of economic development, trade and agriculture, Yulia Sviridenko (representative in the subgroup for social and economic issues), head of the Rada committee for legal policy issues, Andrei Kostin (representative in the subgroup for political issues), deputy defense minister, Alexander Polishchuk (representative in the security subgroup), and head of the Rada committee for social policy issues, Galina Tretyakova (representative in the humanitarian subgroup).