Volker says his meeting with Surkov on Ukraine ‘was a step back’

Volker says his meeting with Surkov on Ukraine ‘was a step back’

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Ukrinform
The lack of results in the negotiations between U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker and Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov in Belgrade could have had to do with the lack of a bilateral meeting between President Putin and President Trump in Vietnam.

Volker made such an assumption in a commentary to The Global POLITICO.

"Our third meeting [with Surkov in Belgrade] was a step back. They went back to their original proposal again," Volker said.

At the meeting, Surkov reverted to Russia’s initial proposal in September to deploy United Nations peacekeepers in eastern Ukraine along the line currently separating Ukrainian government forces and the Russia-backed separatists. Surkov told reporters after the meeting that Volker had presented 29 separate paragraphs to the Russians and that Surkov had agreed with just three of them.

Volker noted that he cannot predict what would be Moscow’s next step.

"It could be that that happened for completely other reasons having nothing to do with Ukraine, just where we are in our U.S.-Russian relationship. It could have had to do with the lack of a bilateral meeting between President Putin and President Trump [in Vietnam]," Volker added.

At the same time, the American diplomat noted that was only his assumption.

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