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Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s statement that he is not ready to build direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk, is disappointing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference following talks with his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis on Wednesday.
"It is disappointing that when asked if he would build direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk, President Zelensky said he wouldn’t," Lavrov said.
He pointed out that in accordance with the Minsk Agreements, "direct dialogue is the main tool" to implement those accords, TASS reports.
The Russian top diplomat also commented on a statement by leader of Ukraine’s Servant of the People political party Dmitry Razumkov, who had said that Kiev should use information tools to make people in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR, LPR) see that "they are loved and expected to return."
"Until recently, the Poroshenko regime called those people separatists and terrorists, and launched a counterterrorism operation against them," Lavrov noted. "If the trend changes, we will be happy to wait for it to take on a tangible form," he added.
Zelensky said earlier following a meeting with the French president that Kiev wasn’t waged a counterterrorism operation with the Donbass republics.
On February 12, 2015, members of the Contact Group on resolving the situation in eastern Ukraine signed the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, approved by the Normandy Quartet member states (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine). The document stipulates a comprehensive ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of contact, as well as a reform of the Ukrainian Constitution in order to decentralize the country and grant special status to certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.