14:17 GMT25 October 2020
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    The Kremlin spokesman has said that the conflict in Donbass can only be resolved through the mutual intentions of Kiev and Donbass itself.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The conflict in Donbass cannot be settled only by the Normandy format, only Kiev and Donbass themselves are capable of doing it, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

    "Changes 'on the ground' cannot be made by the member states of the Normandy format or by any other countries, including the United States. Changes 'on the ground' can be made only by the participants of this conflict, namely Kiev and Donbass. The presence of political will not to further escalate the confrontation, but to solve problems through peaceful, political means is needed to change the situation 'on the ground,'" Peskov told reporters when asked what should be done to change the situation.

    The Kremlin spokesman also commented on a meeting between Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov and US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker, which took place last week in Belgrade.

    "As regards the meeting between Surkov and Volker, they compared notes, exchanged opinions on the situation [in Ukraine]," Peskov said.

    On Saturday, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said that Surkov and Volker met in Belgrade to discuss a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

    Kiev launched a military operation in the east of Ukraine in 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new government that came to power in what they considered a coup. Despite the 2015 ceasefire deal signed between the conflicting parties in Minsk brokered by the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine, the so-called Normandy Format, the situation in the region remains tense.


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