Donetsk, May 19 – DAN. First deputy head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group Alexey Reznikov has disowned statements of his colleagues who suggested to remove Donbass Republics from the talks, said DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova.

On Tuesday, as the working groups met for videoconferences, Ukrainian representative Alexander Merezhko called for excluding the DPR and LPR reps from the talks altogether.

"Yesterday the official part of the political subgroup meeting did not transpire as Ukraine voiced denial to embark on full-fledged talks until the Republics are expulsed from the negotiations or merge into the Russian delegation. It is of interest that today Reznikov speaking at the Contact Group meeting, tried to convince us that his colleague said no such thing, and we misinterpreted his words," Nikonorova said.

She noted though that when the coordinator from the OSCE Pier Morel asked all those present if they were ready to return to a proper format of the meetings of the political subgroup, the Republics and Russia gave positive response, while Kiev ignored the question.

Earlier, the subgroup appeared to be in a deadlock as Ukraine introduced public experts ellegedly representing Donbass to its delegation. The DPR and LPR acted accordingly, inviting community representatives in the delegations.

However, Ukraine blocked the talks entirely demanding to remove Donbass community representatives, while keeping its own nominees. On April 14 some reports said that the sides agreed to hold talks without public experts on both sides.*ot