Russia is a firebrand of the conflict, the first vice-speaker stresses. The first vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada and Ukraine's representative in the humanitarian subgroup of the trilateral contact group on the Donbass Irina Gerashchenko met representatives of the regional authorities at the Institute of Advanced Training.
'We discussed decentralization, judicial reform, visa-free regime, but most attention was paid to the situation in the Donbass and the Minsk agreements. The Minsk agreements aren’t perfect, but they are recognized by the whole world as a road map for peaceful settlement of the conflict. Only the Minsk agreements clearly define the sanctions against Russia. The sanctions essentially hurt Moscow and Russian economy. Russia is striving for lifting of the sanctions and doing everything for this. How come? Do those who oppose the Minsk agreements, support the lifting of the sanctions? The Minsk agreements require providing security and humanitarian components just from Russia. In fact, they say that Russia is far not a mediator, but a participant and firebrand of the conflict,' she wrote on her page in Facebook.
Gerashchenko stressed that the Minsk agreements don’t contain any abbreviations like DPR and LPR, there are just certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Thus, there cannot be any direct negotiations with the militants.
'Kiev is ready for a dialogue with the Donbass, but with the legitimately elected authorities only. They should be elected according to Ukrainian legislation, and the elections should be held according to the OSCE standards,' she noted.