Kiev’s statement on disbanding the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics won’t facilitate peaceful settlement in southeast Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Thursday.
"There have been many statements and no one knows whether they facilitate consolidation of the society and the country on the Minsk deal’s basis," Zakharova said. "In our view, such statements deal a blow to the prime task, namely fulfilling the Minsk agreements and <...> progress towards forming a climate of trust between people, living in various regions of Ukraine," she is quoted as saying by TASS.
According to the diplomat, such statements "definitely won’t add value" to the peace settlement in Donbass. Zakharova also emphasized that the remark on disbanding the LPR and DPR had not been made by an official in charge and Russia would not view this as Kiev’s official position.
In accordance with international practice, Russia proceeds from the statements made by the heads of state and people who are officially tasked with solving foreign policy issues and taking part in negotiations. "Responding to each statement coming from the Rada, press secretaries of former presidents or incumbent politicians from various branches of power is a rather thankless task, because it won’t achieve the desired goal," she stated.
On Wednesday, Daria Olifer, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s chief negotiator Leonid Kuchma, posted a comment on her Facebook page, saying that political settlement was possible only provided that the DPR and LPR were disbanded. The Kremlin is unsure whether Kiev’s demand to dissolve the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk republics means Ukraine is refusing to fulfill the Minsk deal, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.