Yermak, Kozak reach no agreement in talks to resolve Donbas war

13 January 2021

Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian president’s pointman to resolve the war in Donbas, met and negotiated for six hours in Berlin on Jan. 12 with Dmitry Kozak, the Russian president’s pointman on the matter. An exchange of thoughts on all the key issues occurred regarding the fulfillment of the Minsk Accords and the agreements of the Normandy Four summit in Paris in December 2019, Kozak said.

 

“Unfortunately, there is nothing to boast of. We were unable to reach any final decisions. We agreed that new key approaches will be prepared in forming a road map in the Trilateral Contact Group on an all-encompassing resolution to the conflict. Each of the negotiation’s participants outlined their position and indicated their principles approaches to the prospect of resolving the conflict. But final decisions on any issue have practically not been found so far,” Kozak said, as reported by the tass.ru news site.

 

The President’s Office of Ukraine, headed by Yermak, said in a statement afterwards the meeting was not simple, but it had a constructive character. The statement didn’t offer any specifics. The meeting also involved key political advisers to the heads of state of France and Germany. Another meeting of Normandy Four political advisers is scheduled for Jan. 22. The prior meeting of political advisers occurred on Sept. 11 in Berlin.

 

Zenon Zawada: Same old story here. It’s not clear what Yermak could have proposed to Kozak to reach some kind of a breakthrough in resolving the war, but his room for maneuvering is highly restricted. Western institutions won’t allow for any significant concessions.

 

We are confident this stalemate in Donbas will continue indefinitely, for as long as Russia’s president is Putin (who is using it to undermine Zelensky’s presidency) and Ukraine’s president is Zelensky (who can’t make the decision to capitulate to Russia, as much as he’d like to).

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