The National Security and Defense Council should naturally seek options for further possible steps toward peace in Donbas, says head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group, first president of independent Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk.
In a comment to TSN, he noted that Ukraine's search for new paths could be a reaction to Russia's constant resistance to peace in Donbas.
"In his many addresses, President Volodymyr Zelensky said we cannot forever convince both Russia and 'ORDLO' [the occupied areas of Donbas] that it is necessary to unblock progress and follow the path of peace. We see that our efforts often face resistance, and this resistance is unreasonable, with its main goal being to further drag the process, while apparently pursuing some far-reaching goals," said Kravchuk.
Therefore, he says, Zelensky recalled that Ukraine authorities would wait until December 9, the anniversary of the Normandy Four summit, before analyzing the situation.
"If it [the situation] doesn't fundamentally improve, we will continue to see that, as throughout all these five and a half years, the war goes on, with no real actions in place, we should say affirmatively, that would open the path to peace – and we have already walked this path. Therefore, the president said we would consider some other forms of possible influence on the developments to apply in order to achieve the main objective – peace. So, stemming from this all, I'll tell you my opinion. The NSDC should naturally seek options for possible action if, I repeat, we see resistance or some dubious moves on the part of the Russian Federation. I think that this is precisely about preparing such a decision – the document. What's in it? Nobody consulted me, so I can't tell," said Leonid Kravchuk.
Read alsoUkraine expects EU to appoint "special representative for Crimea" – KulebaOn December 9, 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky first met with Vladimir Putin in Paris as part of the Normandy Four Summit. The declaration agreed by the leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine, and Russia provided for the next such meeting to be held in Berlin in April 2020. Due to the COVID pandemic, it was postponed, while Russia put forward new demands to Ukraine.
In May, at a final press conference, Volodymyr Zelensky said that if, by the first anniversary of his meeting with Putin, his diplomatic efforts on Donbas did not work out, Ukraine would move on to Plan B. The nature of this plan and whether it has been drafted remains unclear. Recently, NSDC Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said that a special meeting would be convened "to make certain managerial decisions."
Ukraine's Action Plan for Donbas Settlement
The Action Plan for Donbas Settlement was announced by the Office of the President at a recent meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group (Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE). The plan, the President's Office said, should be developed using the proposals of the Normandy Four leaders (Ukraine, Germany, France, and Russia).
On November 5, the Ukrainian delegation to the TCG revealed the five main points of the new plan.
On November 10, the Ukrainian delegation to the TCG stated that the members of the political subgroup "took as a basis" the Action Plan put forward by the Ukrainian team.
However, on November 24, Russia's representative in the political subgroup said Moscow supported the plan submitted by the ORDLO representatives (the internationally unrecognized entities in eastern Ukraine – in fact, Russia's proxy forces).