Kravchuk names first steps he intends to take in Donbas settlement talks
First President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk, who has been recently appointed President's Envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas settlement in Minsk, has named his priority steps in talks.
The new delegation chair set to raise the issue of establishing a fund for the restoration of Donbas, as well as a free economic zone, he told Ukraine 24 TV channel.
"The first step is of an offensive nature. Let's start with the Budapest Memorandum. Back then, Ukraine laid down its nuclear weapons – 175 missiles. Each missile had five warheads, so that's 1,000 in total. Each launch site cost a billion dollars at the time, which would be around $300 billion nowadays. And this step by Ukraine was very important for reducing the nuclear arsenals and expenditures on the nuclear arsenals of nuclear powers that are still out there," said the first president.
Kravchuk says Ukraine in this regard has the right to raise the issue of establishing a special fund to restore the war-torn Donbas.
"If we discuss this and present the idea in a broader sense, through diplomatic efforts by all of us together, and if Russia shows support... I want [to see] the Donbas Reanimation Fund – people will start immediately doing some concrete things," he said.
Another initiative is about setting up a free economic zone in Donbas.
"When I was president, we created a free economic zone, which included Donetsk, Luhansk, and Dnipropetrovsk regions. Then everyone forgot about it. I think now this also needs to be done – not only in government-controlled territories but in all areas. And when people engage in concrete things, investments will start flowing there. And there'll be no need to talk about any special status for Donbas," said Ukraine's first president.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Leonid Kravchuk said that for the sake of peace in Donbas he was ready to engage in dialogue with representatives of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.