09:24 GMT30 November 2020
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    Russia did not offer to involve the United States in talks on peaceful settlement of the conflict in the east of Ukraine, but doesn't oppose it, Russia's Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said Wednesday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — The Normandy Format on the Ukrainian crisis settlement doesn't include the US. Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine participate in talks on Ukrainian reconciliation since February 2015.

    "Actually, we didn’t propose such a thing. Before the election, the US was showing interest in engaging in the political process regarding the Ukrainian crisis, and we established direct bilateral contacts, involving representatives of the Russian Presidential Administration and the US State Department," Chizhov said in an interview with the EurActiv portal.

    "Basically, if everybody else agrees, we will not be against US involvement, in some way or another," he said.

    The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

    In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement brokered by the Normandy Four states, the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.

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    Issue of Including UK, US in Normandy Format Not Under Consideration
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