Representative of certain districts of Donetsk region in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) from Ukraine Serhiy Harmash does not exclude the possibility of his withdrawal from its membership if the delegation's officials do not take steps regarding the issue of the irregular presence of so-called "public experts" from ORDLO.
"It is simple: either I convince the leadership of the correctness of my arguments, and we start to respond effectively to the violation of the negotiation format and confidentiality regime [...] or I need to ask myself: what am I doing on a ship that is sailing in the wrong direction? So, whether it is time to exit?" Harmash told the Ostriv (Island) newspaper on Friday, February 19.
He said that already at this year's third online meeting of the TCG there are "some public experts [from ORDLO], representing someone who is not clear." Harmash said none of the TCG members invited them.
"Russia said it has nothing to do with the formation of the composition of 'other delegations.' Ukraine did not invite them, as well as the OSCE. Then who? If we agree with the fact of the presence of these people, then we, it turns out, recognize the puppets of Russia from ORDLO as separate delegations. Do we recognize their right to invite 'experts' to negotiations? Do we recognize them as a full-fledged party to the negotiations? We do not react to this, and they are already sitting at the TCG for the third meeting, and then they will tell us about such a negotiating 'tradition.' But we are creating traditions," Harmash said.
He said it is necessary to require compliance with the TCG trilateral format, as it is written in the Minsk agreements, since "today it is de facto five-sided, and this is the main reason for the ineffectiveness of the TCG."
To a question "How to react to the Ukrainian delegation to the presence of 'other experts,' Harmash suggested ignoring everyone at the TCG, except for the official representatives of Russia and the OSCE.
According to him, it is possible to hold consultations with ORDLO only in the working groups of the TCG or to lower the status of the Ukrainian delegation.
"In any case, I will not subjectivize the puppets from ORDLO as separate delegations. It will not be just a slap in the face of all immigrants and patriots, it will be the surrender of our positions, and I will not surrender anything. I went to TCG to win back, and not to give up," the representative of the Ukrainian delegation in the negotiation process said.