Vitold Fokin, the First Deputy of Ukrainian delegation in the Minsk contact group claimed he was insecure when publicly calling Donbas militants 'rebels'. President's Office reported that on September 24, in an interview with NV agency.
"This word was used by the previous president of Ukraine, too, particularly in his speech in Zurich university in January 2015 - if I'm not mistaken. I sincerely apologize to all those offended by my words. As patriot of Ukraine and one of the first leaders of the restored Ukrainian state, I sincerely wish and will do everything for peace to return to Ukraine, so that our military and peaceful citizens keep on living. This is how I see my part in the Ukrainian delegation in the Trilateral contact group", Fokin said.
The first Prime Minister of Ukraine also added he was very sorry that his statement caused a huge outrage in the society.
"The efforts that we and our colleagues put in to reach our common goal, the restoration of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country within internationally recognized borders are incomparably bigger meaning that a poorly chosen word", Fokin said.