Akhmetov willing to do anything to stop war in Donbas - press secretary
Ukrainian businessman Rinat Akhmetov is willing to do everything in his powers any steps to stop the war in the Donbas and remains committed to achieving peace at the negotiating table.
"In response to the article published by the Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (Mirror Weekly), I want to note that the press service of Rinat Akhmetov has never commented and will never comment on rumors and speculations. But if you ask what Rinat Akhmetov is ready to do? Rinat Akhmetov is ready to do anything to stop the war, to stop the suffering of people. He is indeed ready to do everything that depends on him and even more. The key thing is that no blood should be shed. Rinat Akhmetov has been and remains an advocate of reaching peace at a negotiating table," reads a comment by Akhmetov's press secretary handed to Interfax-Ukraine on Saturday.
The press secretary recalled that in summer of 2014, Akhmetov very clearly expressed his position which remains unchanged to date: "It will be very difficult for Donbas without Ukraine, and very difficult for Ukraine without Donbas… In my opinion, the only way is to change the Constitution and decentralize the power. This means the power going from Kyiv to the regions, the authorities being elected and not appointed. This means that the local authorities will have to takes responsibility for the present and future of the people."
"I am strongly convinced that Donbas can be happy only in the unified Ukraine," the businessman summed up.
As reported, in an article published in the Dzerkalo Tyzhnia. Ukraine (Mirror Weekly) on Saturday, first deputy chief editor of the newspaper Serhiy Rahmanin quoting his sources said that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had shown interest in the idea of creating administrations in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which would be led by people who would suit both Kyiv and Moscow.
"According to our information, Putin has confirmed his readiness to replace [current leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic Alexander] Zakharchenko and [leader of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic Igor] Plotnitsky by less disreputable persons. As far as we know, Poroshenko has expressed interest in '[leader of the Ukrainian Choice public movement, Ukraine's special representative for humanitarian affairs in the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group Viktor] Medvedchuk's plan', which envisages the formation of administrations in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which would be headed by people who would suit both Kyiv and Moscow. Viktor Volodymyrovych [Medvedchuk] himself, apparently suggested as the candidates for this post [Ukrainian business tycoon] Rinat Akhmetov and [businessman and Opposition Bloc leader] Yuriy Boiko to Petro Oleksiyovych [Poroshenko]. The president allegedly liked the said candidates," the article says.
The source of the newspaper also said that Poroshenko held preliminary talks with both the candidates, and they both allegedly agreed.