9 Jul 2019 15:00

Zelensky's idea of multilateral Donbas summit has right to exist - Lavrov

HIGH TATRAS (Slovakia). July 9 (Interfax) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's idea of a summit involving Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the United States has a right to exist, but emphasis should be put on direct dialogue between the conflicting sides, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the press on Tuesday.

"This format, both the Normandy and the Minsk ones, has been approved by the UN Security Council as an instrument to be used by the international community. Perhaps other proposals have the right to exist, but emphasis should be on direct dialogue as the core of the Minsk Agreements," Lavrov said following the OSCE Informal Ministerial Gathering.

Zelensky's proposal has been discussed at the OSCE Informal Ministerial Gathering, he said.

"Whenever serious proposals are made, they are first conveyed via diplomatic channels instead of being published on Facebook," Lavrov said.

"However, we are prepared to discuss concrete propositions that could help implement the Security Council resolution endorsing the Minsk Agreements, but wouldn't substitute the Agreements themselves for this resolution," he said.

Zelensky urged Putin on July 8 to discuss a settlement in eastern Ukraine with the leaders of states signatories to the Budapest Memorandum and the Normandy format participants in Minsk, the venue of meetings of the Trilateral Contact Group. He emphasized that Ukraine does not refuse any kind of diplomatic format for settling the Donbas situation.

The Kremlin said it would look into the Ukrainian president's idea.