Putin's aide confirms Donbas referendum proposal
Russian President Vladimir Putin's aide Yuri Ushakov has confirmed that the issue of holding a local referendum in eastern Ukraine's Donbas was being discussed at the Helsinki talks between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
"This proposal was discussed, while there has been no reaction yet," Ushakov told the Izvestia newspaper.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Bloomberg initially wrote that Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki Summit July 16 offered Donald Trump that a referendum be held in Ukraine's Donbas on the regional status.
Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, confirmed that Putin had raised the topic with Trump, saying Putin made “concrete proposals” on how to handle the ongoing conflict.
According to Iryna Gerashchenko, Ukraine's vice parliament speaker and humanitarian envoy to the Tripartite Contact Group on Donbas settlement, "no referendum" will be held in eastern Ukraine "at gunpoint," with "Russian tanks parked near schools and kindergartens."
The White House says President Trump is “not considering supporting” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal to hold a referendum in eastern Ukraine. “The Administration is not considering supporting a referendum in the eastern Ukraine,” National Security Council spokesman Garret Marquis said in a statement, according to The Hill.