Thursday, January 26 2017 18:22 EET
'We are not going to be a playcard and don't believe in gentleman's agreements': Ukraine insists on participation in US-Russia negotiations on Donbas conflict
 Ukraine, participation, USA, Russia, negotiations, conflict, east, Budapest Memorandum,  Donbas, Crimea,  Deputy Foreign Minister, Olena Zerkal, Vladimir Putin

Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Olena Zerkal stressed that the country wants to be an actor, not a card being played

Ukraine must participate in negotiations and in any deal struck between Russia and the United States to end violence in eastern Ukraine, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Olena Zerkal said on January 25. This was reported by 112 TV channel.

Ukraine, which has been battling pro-Russian separatists in its eastern Donbas region for nearly three years, is worried that US President Donald Trump will cut Kyiv out of any peace negotiations as he attempts to improve ties with Moscow.

"Because we are talking about the future of our country, we don't want to be excluded from the negotiations. We don't want to be a card (to be played). We want to be an actor," Olena Zerkal said.

"I don't believe in gentleman's agreements anymore," Zerkal added, noting Russia had violated an earlier deal - the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, under which Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan gave up nuclear weapons in exchange for assurances of territorial integrity - when it annexed Crimea.

Zerkal reminded of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's call for the West to maintain sanctions imposed against Russia over the 2014 annexation of Crimea and its support for the separatists in the Donbas.

"This is the only tool we all have in order to prevent (Russian President Vladimir) Putin from a further spree of aggression," she said.

Earlier Poroshenko on cooperation between Ukraine and USA said: There are no eternal friends or eternal enemies, only eternal interests.

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