20 May 2019 18:22

Zelensky has chance of ending war in Donbas, going down in history as peacekeeper - Kosachyov

MOSCOW. May 20 (Interfax) - The statement by Ukraine's new President Volodymyr Zelensky on his intention to cease fire in Donbas can only be welcomed and he has a chance of stopping the war, Konstantin Kosachyov, the head of the Federation Council's International Affairs Committee, said.

"Zelensky said he believes a ceasefire in Donbas is his priority and this message can only be welcomed. The question is how the new Ukrainian administration is going to achieve it," Kosachyov said on Facebook.

"Zelensky really has a unique change of ending the war, which he did not start, and go down into history as a peacekeeper," he said.

At the same time, the senator said he did not hear in Zelensky's inaugural speech an intention to begin the implementation of the Minsk agreements. He said he is ready for dialogue, but it is not quite clear with whom, he said.

"It currently doesn't follow from the words that it turns out that 'Ukraine did not start this war' that Kyiv will negotiate directly with the DPR and the LPR, whose representatives signed the Minsk Agreements," Kosachyov said.

The addresses made by Ukraine's new president in Russian to residents of Donbas and Crimea "with a message that they are 'not foreign to Ukraine' are also clearly not enough to understand what will happen next," he said.

"Fortunately, it doesn't apply to Crimea, but the president was very right when he said about Donbas that 'the authorities did not do anything to make them feel Ukrainian in all these years'," Kosachyov said.

Whether or not the military action in Donbas will continue depends solely on the central Ukrainian administration, he said.

"In any case, we expect deeds, not words. And people expect them the most in the long-suffering Donbas," the senator said.