Russia will block peace talks if resolution on local elections in Donbas not changed - Kravchuk.

Censor.NET reports citing Hromadske.

"Today it is clear that during all meetings of the Trilateral Contact Group all issues under discussion rest on one thing: Russia and representatives of ORDLO [certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions] officially state that until the Verkhovna Rada resolution is changed, all issues will be blocked," Kravchuk said.

He added that "if there is no desire of one party to reach an agreement, and there is a desire of only Ukraine, the field of maneuver is narrowing and it does not exist on specific issues, but we must find the answers to all questions."

Kravchuk clarified that he did not know whether the Verkhovna Rada would change the resolution.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov said on September 18 that the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group would accept the parliament's refusal to amend or clarify the resolution on local elections in the occupied part of Donbas, but "some other decision" would expand the room for maneuver in the peace negotiations.

He added that the decision, emphasizing Ukraine's perception of the Minsk process as a non-alternative platform for negotiations, would confirm the authority of the Ukrainian delegation and give an important signal to Ukraine's Western partners and international mediators with the OSCE.

Earlier, during a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group, Russia demanded that Ukraine reconsider the decision of the Verkhovna Rada on the holding of local elections in the occupied part of Donbas. In case of the refusal to consider the issue, it threatened to block the settlement process in eastern Ukraine, including the exchange of prisoners and a meeting of the leaders of the Normandy Four countries.

After that, Kravchuk sent a letter to the Verkhovna Rada with the request to change the resolution on local elections. According to him, the Russian side is not satisfied with the fact that, according to the resolution, elections cannot be held in the occupied territories of Ukraine.

Verkhovna Rada Chairman Dmytro Razumkov said that Kravchuk's appeal had been passed to the concerned parliamentary committee.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukraine would never make concessions on the issue of holding elections in the temporarily occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which would undermine its territorial integrity or European and Euro-Atlantic development.

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