Ukraine's federalization, "special status" for Donbas off table, Zelensky's aide says

13:40, 23 September 2019
Politics
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's aide Andriy Yermak has said the president and the current government will never go for federalization of Ukraine and the loss of territories, and also set the goal of ending the war and reintegrating Donbas into Ukraine.

"We will definitely never allow federalization of our country. We will certainly never allow the loss of our territories. We definitely want to end the war. We definitely want to reintegrate Donbas into Ukraine. We definitely want Ukraine to be united. And the whole negotiation process is built on these basic principles," he said in an interview with the Ukrainian online publication Livyi Bereh, answering the question on what President Zelensky and his team are ready to go for to end the war in Donbas.

Speaking about the Minsk agreements, Yermak said he would not have signed them in the form as they were signed.

"I understand it is easy to criticize now, and that there is still no alternative. But we gathered a large number of experts and worked out our position based on what already exists," he said.

Read alsoZelensky's aide stands for holding elections in occupied areas on same day with local ones across Ukraine

Yermak expects the solution Zelensky and his team will find "will in a good sense surprise even the greatest skeptics."

He also noted "the special status of the occupied territories is not a subject of negotiations either in Minsk or in the Normandy format – it is not even being discussed."

Zelensky's aide also said Ukraine and Russia could agree on lists for the next prisoner swap in a month.

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