Donetsk, Jan 27 - DAN. Talking about Istanbul as a possible venue of Donbass talks is premature, Donetsk People’s Republic representative at the Minsk talks, DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova told the Donetsk News Agency on Thursday.

On Wednesday, special representative of the OSCE  Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group Mikko Kinnunen stated that Turkey had offered to host onsite Donbass peace talks.

“As for sessions of the Contact Group and its working groups in Turkey, we confirm that the OSCE coordinator has indeed brought forward such a proposal,” Nikonorova said. “However, we have not received official documents from Turkish authorities which would confirm their readiness to provide security guarantees for the members of the DPR and LPR delegations.”

She added that there no understanding at present regarding the technicalities or documents related to border crossing and other formalities. Consequently, talking about Istanbul as a possible new venue of negotiations would be premature. At the same time, the DPR representative said that the resumption of talks in Minsk would the best solution.

“The Belarussian capital is a convenient and comfortable city from the logistics point of view both for us and the mediators in the person of the OSCE and Russia. It does not take long to reach the place by plane. Belarussian officials have never interfered in the negotiations and have always been ready to provide maximum assistance in administrative issues, such as border crossing, security etc,” the diplomat said.

The Donbass settlement talks have been held via video conferences for nearly two years. Face-to-face meetings in Minsk were suspended due to the threat of spread of the coronavirus infection in the spring of 2020. Later on, Ukraine repeatedly called for changing the venue of talks due to unstable political relations between Minsk and Kiev. *jk