6 Sep 2018 12:58

Belarusian Foreign Ministry views Zakharchenko's murder as attempt at disrupting Donbas settlement talks in Minsk

MINSK. Sept 6 (Interfax) - The Belarusian Foreign Ministry has condemned the attempts at disrupting the Donbas peace process, including the killing of self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) head Alexander Zakharchenko on August 31.

"We denounce any kind of violence in the conflict zone and resent any suffering and deaths, including the death of Mr. Zakharchenko. We also condemn any attempts at disrupting the Minsk process," ministry spokesman Anatoly Glaz said at a press briefing in Minsk on Thursday.

"We are urging all interested parties not to follow the lead of individuals who seek to block [the Minsk process] but to demonstrate a will for continuing the dialogue," Glaz said.

Belarus is committed to the search for a peaceful solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine and cares about the future of the Minsk process, Glaz said. "Regretfully, it has not been as dynamic as we would like it to be. This applies both to the Normandy format and the Surkov-Volker [talks]," he said.

As to whether the schedule of the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine (TCG) might change, Glaz cited Martin Sajdik, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine, who said on Wednesday that the TCG would hold its next meeting in Minsk on September 19. "The schedule is the same, it is dynamic," Glaz said.

"We are not a party to these talks, we are not intervening in them, but we are not detached observers either: we will keep creating conditions for conducting the talks and implementing any initiatives aimed at stopping confrontation and fostering dialogue and cooperation in the region," he said.