Kravchuk: It is impossible to agree with Moscow under normal conditions
First President of Ukraine, Head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) Leonid Kravchuk believes that it is practically impossible to reach an agreement with Russia on Donbas without pressure from the international community.
"It's not easy to get along with Russia. I don't want to have unnecessary illusions that we can agree on something. We have been working for seven years and practically unite very few positions, and for the last six months - nothing at all, because Russia has different views," Kravchuk said on the air of a talk show on the NASH TV channel on Thursday evening, thus admitting that negotiations at the TCG had reached a dead end.
"When I came to the first meeting in Minsk on July 22, an agreement was reached on a comprehensive regime of a ceasefire, and we began to implement these agreements. And I, frankly speaking, thought to myself that perhaps some steps have begun to move more clearly, more actively and more responsibly to peace - not only by Ukraine, but also by all participants in the process. But when I attended these meetings and realized that it was a fake, that they say one thing and do another, that they think that it is possible to deceive Ukraine and it will make any concessions, only unilateral, that it will surrender its national interests for the sake of some incomprehensible goals, I concluded that it is impossible to agree on anything under normal conditions," Kravchuk said, noting that Moscow distorts the Package of Measures for implementation of the Minsk Protocol and interprets it in its own interests.
He added that "if Russia puts pressure and tells a lie," Ukraine should act in the same way and rely on political pressure with the involvement of international partners, including the United States, to force Russia to fulfill the agreements, and not interpret them in its own interests. At the same time, Ukraine itself needs a unified firm position in Ukrainian politics, Kravchuk stressed.
"At the next meeting, I will ask them one question: "Do they support the seven points [steps to implement the doctrine of the 'Russian Donbas'], which was proclaimed by their ['DPR'] ringleader? [Denis Pushilin] "If they approve of these seven points, where there is absolutely no talk about the integration of these regions of Ukraine, where there is absolutely nothing about Ukrainian interests as a state as a whole, but it is about the creation of national-Russian state structures, then let them say it officially at the meeting. It cannot be that their leader says one thing, and they - another," said Kravchuk.
When asked if it is impossible to come to an agreement with the Russian Federation through the TCG, then why waste your time, Kravchuk replied: "While these negotiations are Minsk negotiations, they are still in operation, they also have other tasks: sanctions, unification of European partners. We want to show that Ukraine was and is an advocate of realization."