Kyiv does not intend to raise its level of diplomatic relations with Russia, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, excerpts of which were cited by the UNIAN news agency.
“There is no reason to raise the status of diplomatic relations by appointing a Ukrainian ambassador,” the ministry remarked, adding that its stance on the matter is based on the “continued Russian aggression” and “Russian occupation of Ukrainian territories”.
On February 10, the newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta published an interview with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in which he said that Moscow is not opposed to the idea of exchanging ambassadors with Ukraine.
Ukraine recalled its diplomatic representative to Russia, Volodymyr Yelchenko, in March 2014. Since 2015, Ruslan Nimchynsky has served as Ukraine’s chargé d’affaires in Russia.
Russian Ambassador to Kyiv Mikhail Zurabov was recalled in February 2014, and in July 2016, President Vladimir Putin relieved him of his duties.
After Zurabov was recalled, Andrey Borobyev became Russia’s chargé d’affaires in Ukraine. In May 2016, he died unexpectedly of a stroke in Moscow. In July 2016, Russia appointed Sergey Toropov as its new chargé d’affaires in Ukraine, but on November 16 that same year he was replaced by Alexander Lukashik, who holds the position to this day.