Russian officials are hindering the work of the political subgroup within the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas settlement (TCG).

That’s according to People’s Deputy Andriy Kostin (Servant of the People faction), acting deputy chair of Ukraine’s delegation in the TCG who represents the country in the said subgroup.

“There is a very difficult discussion underway in the subgroup on political issues, where I represent the Ukrainian delegation in the TCG,” he said.

A year ago, it was decided at the TCG level that the political subgroup develop a so-called action plan for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

“However, as the approaches to how the Minsk accords shall be implemented really differ, our delegation submitted their draft plan a year ago. Unfortunately, it saw no support from our counterparts in the talks. In addition, the Russian delegation refuses to take an active part in discussing this mandate of the Trilateral Contact Group, which, in my opinion, shows that they are unwilling to take on the responsibility they must bear as TCG participants,” Kostin said.

He added that in recent months, the Ukrainian delegation has been speaking within the political subgroup of the need to consider issues that are traditional for the platform.”In particular, it’s the adapting of the law on the special order of local self-government in relation to the inclusion into this legislation of the so-called Steinmeier formula. Here, we can’t reach an agreement either as our counterparts in consultations don’t want to continue to consider this bill,” said the acting first deputy chair of the Ukrainian delegation to the TCG.

Kostin stressed that passing bills is the main element of political settlement of the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. “This is not only about the bill on a special order of local self-government, but also a bill on amnesty and a bill on the peculiarities of local elections,” he added.

“In our opinion, this work is being blocked due to the fact that Russia is not ready and is not going to promote this political settlement at the moment,” Kostin said.

As reported earlier, after Oleksiy Reznikov left the Ukrainian delegation to the TCG to lead the country’s defense ministry, Andriy Kostin was temporarily assigned the duties of the delegation’s first deputy chairman.