First President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk, who was recently appointed to lead the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas settlement, says that, for the sake of peace, he is ready to engage in a dialogue with representatives of the occupied territories.
Speaking on the air of Ukraine 24 TV channel, he said it would be impossible to achieve peace without talking to anyone.
"There are people who could partake in talks. For example, the President's Office signs a decree on the appointment of [first PM of Ukraine Vitold] Fokin to a position in the Minsk Group. He could both invite someone and talk with them about what they really want," Kravchuk said.
To seek ways to address any issue, parties should "be in contact, negotiate, and go step by step", according to Kravchuk.
"I'm not talking about direct negotiations with their 'leaders', to make things clearer... There are people there who are not engaged, say, purely in political issues, perhaps some researchers, perhaps someone else, who could from both sides start communicating at their level so that it isn't immediately seen as state level. So once they've drawn a roadmap, which has been coordinated with Kyiv, and with the regions where those people came from, then the question of a higher level of meetings could be raised to make a finalized decision. Now there is a question of clarifying the exact positions and steps," he added.
"If we want to achieve anything, if we want peace in Donbas, how can we achieve peace without talking to anyone? The UN and OSCE forces will come, deploy their troops, put on white helmets, and that's it? There won't be any such thing," Kravchuk said.
At the same time, he clarified that he was ready to talk to anyone, but he would never sign documents harming Ukraine.
"Ultra-patriots who criticize me for talking to someone have already signed Minsk agreements, where until now we haven't been able to take precise and clear positions," he said.
Earlier, Kravchuk appeared via video conference on the air of a Russian propaganda TV show.
As UNIAN reported earlier, President Volodymyr Zelensky appointed first President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk to lead the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk.