Russian President’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin has some influence on the militants in the Donbas, but cannot ensure the withdrawal of troops, reports TASS.
“We are talking about the settlement within the Ukrainian conflict. The Kremlin, of course, has some influence on the “Republics” of the Donbas, but as you know, the “Republics” of the Donbas are independent entities in the conflict settlement,” said Peskov.
Also, the Kremlin continues to claim that Russia “is not a party that is involved in the conflict.” Peskov added that “Moscow, along with Berlin and Paris, is the guarantor of the Minsk action plan and is interested in its implementation.”
On October 1 in Minsk, an agreement was made on the withdrawal of troops in Petrovsky and Zolote districts of the Luhansk region. The separation of troops was expected to begin on October 7, but it was postponed due to continued fire attacks.
During the next seven days, parties should confirm that they have serious intentions in conflict settlement. If the separation of forces begins, but is nit completed, the Ukrainian Armed Forces will return to their positions.
At a press conference in Kyiv on October 1, President Zelensky said that Ukraine had agreed to the text of the Steinmeier Formula at the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk.
He emphasized that elections could only take place in the occupied Donbas territories if Kyiv is given full control of the parts of the Russian border in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that are currently not under its control.
On September 12, Zelensky said that Kyiv would insist on a Normandy Format session in September. He said that the leaders of the four represented countries would discuss the “Steinmeier Formula and all aspects of the Minsk Agreements”.
The formula was proposed by former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. He said that the Donbas should be given a “special status” on the day that elections are held in the occupied territories, with the simultaneous withdrawal of illegal armed groups.