The Chairman of the Political Council of “Opposition Platform – For Life” Viktor Medvedchuk claimed he leaves the negotiation process with Russia on settlement of Donbas conflict, because the team of President Zelensky does not need his help. He stated that on air of Pulse political talk show on 112 Ukraine.
“You know, first of all, I would like to tell you why did I make such statement. I did so because in this situation Zelensky’s team does not need my help. The Head of the Administration said that they did not see Medvedchuk in the negotiation process with Russia. If I was asked whether I see myself as the representative not of Ukraine’s authority, but of this team in talks with Russia, I would say the same thing I say today. I can’t negotiate on behalf of the authority, and I stress again, not of Ukraine, but of the authority, which Zelensky represents today, with Russia, including Donetsk and Luhansk. How can I negotiate on the behalf of people who are supposed to empower me or present the concept or directions to hold talks if I believe that Ukraine has to implement Minsk Agreements?” the politician said.
He reminded that the whole world believed that Minsk Agreements are irreplaceable. “Mr. Zelensky and his team have another position and another point of view, I have referred to it. Donbas doesn’t have special status, I believe that this is not just a special status, this is autonomy as a part of Ukraine for Donbas. No amnesty, but these are two basic items of the political part of Minsk Agreements. If there are no direct talks, then what should I negotiate about? Nothing. That is why I stated and commented that obviously, I can’t represent the interests of this authority which has its own vision and (we will find out soon) its own concept in this regard. Moreover, when Mr. Zelensky himself (I will specify so that to avoid any confusion, to separate Zelensky’s team and Zelensky) says that he believes that the only common thing Russia and Ukraine have is border, I completely disagree with that. No, we Ukrainians, not Zelensky and his team, we have a lot of things in common with Russia: thousand-year history, Slavic roots, millions of relatives, who live in both states, victory in Great Patriotic War and so on. And his team and he himself assumes that the only common thing is border, then again, we get back to the expectations: how will he implement them, these expectations, concerning peace, ceasefire? That is why this is a very serious question, this requires explanations and commentaries, because without it we cannot move forward. I believe that with this position I can’t represent these interests,” he said.
Viktor Medvedchuk is the Chairman of the Political Council of “Opposition Platform – For Life”. He is considered a major figure in the political life of Ukraine, well known for his pro-Russian stance and close ties with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. In 2018, he acted as the negotiator during the talks on the exchange of captives in Donbas.
Thanks to the participation of Viktor Medvedchuk, more than 480 Ukrainian citizens were released.
After the new authority took force in Ukraine, Medvedchuk no longer represents the country in talks with Russia. He himself explained that he cannot present the interests of the new authority, considering the position of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on the number of the principal issue.