26 Jul 2019 22:25

Ukrainian pro-president Servant of the People party denies holding consultations with State Duma members

KYIV. July 26 (Interfax) - The Servant of the People party and new Ukrainian MPs elected on the party's ticket have held no consultations with any representatives of Russian legislative or executive authorities, the party said.

"We aren't planning any such consultations in the future, except in established international formats within which it is impossible to avoid such contacts," a party spokesperson told Interfax on Friday.

Only the Ukrainian president or duly empowered persons acting on the president's orders and in conformity with the existing laws may hold such talks with Russia on behalf of Ukraine, the spokesperson said.

"Those elected to represent Servant of the People in the parliament have been warned of the unacceptability of any personal contacts with acting representatives of the Russian authorities. Every attempt to establish such contacts will be regarded as a breach of faction discipline and the party's principles," the party said.

Servant of the People's stance on contacts with people representing the Russian authorities may be changed only if there is some progress made in de-escalating the situation in relations between the two countries, including the release of Ukrainian sailors, prisoners of war and political prisoners, and a sustainable ceasefire in Donbas, the party said.

Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky spoke earlier on Friday to express readiness for exchanging visits and establishing full-scale contacts between the two countries' parliaments.