Can wannabe prez Zelensky end Donbas conflict?

Author : Viktor Ruzhynsky

Source : 112 Ukraine

Ukraine's main expectation from the next president is the end of Donbas war
09:00, 12 March 2019

Ukrainian showman Volodymyr Zelensky files documents for presidential candidacy
Open source

Ukraine's main expectation from the next president is the end of Donbas war. Therefore, the electorate of the east of Ukraine is seeking for the candidates, assessing their position on the Donbas issue. That is why in the east, the positions of MP and wannabe prez Yuriy Boyko, who has clearly defined his plan – negotiations with Russia, ending the war, reintegrating people and restoring territories – are strong.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the current leader of the presidential race, does not say much about his program, which is certainly not very good because the voter must understand what he gives his vote for. But in fact, even from those fragments that reach the public, we can conclude that Zelensky has a vision of what to do with Donbas. And this is not about rapprochement with Russia. This is a bet on the United States and the UK, which should help Kyiv put Russia on heels, return Donbas to Ukraine and generally get out of Ukraine.

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Zelensky’s political assistant Dmytro Razumkov recognizes that the candidate does not have a short-term solution to the Donbas issue. "How to end the war tomorrow – I think, no candidate will be able to answer this question, and very few people can do it at all. If we want to end the war, there must be Russia’s willingness for it..." Razumkov says.

This seems to sound logical since Russia will not leave if Kyiv maintains the current foreign policy course. Zelensky wants to move to the West, therefore the candidate’s headquarters indicate the directions of their work to resolve the conflict.

 “Speaking about the diplomatic direction, there should be a story with an expanded “Normandy format,” with the maximum involvement of the US and the UK. Speaking about the economy, it is important to ensure conditions for people from temporarily occupied territories to want to return,” Razumkov says.

Related: Wannabe prez Zelensky as Kolomoisky's bargaining chip in struggle for his lost business

All these measures do not imply the near end of the conflict, but they guarantee the preservation of Ukraine’s political course and will become a kind of stop-crane for the theoretical rapprochement of Kyiv and Moscow.

Zelensky is a pro-Western candidate. He has already promised to IMF Resident Representative in Ukraine, Mr. Goesta Ljungman, that he sees no alternative to further cooperation with the Foundation to improve the economic situation in the country. Following the meeting with Kurt Volker, Special Representative of the US State Department for Ukraine, and Marie Yovanovitch, the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Zelensky’s press office stated that during the meeting, the parties "reached a complete understanding on all issues."

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Those who are worried about the inexperience of Volodymyr Zelensky as the future president should calm down - democracy and current foreign policy are unlikely to be threatened with him.

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