Donetsk, May 18 - DAN. The Ukrainian delegation at the talks of the Contact Group subgroup on political issues suggested excluding the Donetsk and Lugansk representatives from the peace talks, the Donetsk People's Republic delegation in the Contact Group said on Tuesday.

“Ukraine has surpassed itself suggesting that the Donetsk and Lugansk representatives be excluded from the negotiations,” the DPR delegation said. “The mediators in the person of the OSCE and the Russian Federation tried to bring Ukraine back on productive track but our opponents’ stamina in keeping to the instruction to block the negotiations deserves special praise.”

As a result, the work of the subgroup on political issues was blocked, the Lugansk People’s Republic delegation in the Contact Group added.

DPR activist Maya Pirogova who earlier took part in the negotiations explained that Ukrainian representative Alexander Merezhko said at the meeting that it was right thing to only leave Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE at the negotiating table, for the reason that he was “a scientist and lawyer.”

Earlier, Ukraine blocked the political subgroup’s work demanding that the DPR and LPR activists be barred from participation in the talks. The idea to involve activists in the talks originally belonged to Ukraine: in December 2019, Andrey Yermak, who was an aide to the Ukrainian president at the time, stated the need for adding more negotiators from Donbass by ushering residents of Kiev-controlled areas of the region and changing the composition of the negotiators from Donetsk and Lugansk. The DPR and the LPR called it “a new absurd idea, equal to the refusal to implement the Minsk Agreements.” Later on, Ukraine changed its approach and only included two notorious journalists in its delegation in June 2020. In response, the Donbass Republics let their activists join the negotiations. Kiev responded by blocking the talks. In mid-April, the OSCE helped find a compromise: the negotiators’ teams return to the old format that had existed before the activists joined the talks.*jk