Director of Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, Iryna Bekeshkina, has said there are two public positions in Ukraine regarding the solution of the Donbas issue following the pseudo-elections held in the region by Russia.
"One of them is to completely fence off from [the occupied] Donbass, meaning we will eventually give up on these territories," she told Novoye Vremya.
"And another one is that we recognize that Donbas is ours," she added.
At the same time, the expert noted that under the latter option Ukraine shall not have any relations with their [occupation] so-called "authorities."
However, "not to lose the population there, we would develop the humanitarian component," according to Bekeshkina.
"To this end, first of all, we need to increase the number of checkpoints and simplify the crossing routine to make it less burdensome for the people. Of course, there must be full control there so that neither weapons nor drugs are smuggled. And it's necessary to control those who are working there [at checkpoints]. Obviously, we need to pay pensions – in our territory, not the occupied areas," the expert said.
Bekeshkina also spoke in favor of having the Ukrainian media be represented in the occupied territories.
"I don't know how realistic it is though," the sociologist said.
She suggested, "nobody knows what to do with Donbas."
"And the problem is that it does not depend on us. It all depends on what pressure the international community exerts on Russia and how costly is Donbas for Russia. Also, it's clear that Russia doesn't want to seize it, otherwise it would have grabbed it, just like it did Crimea," the sociologist said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, a historian and journalist Vakhtang Kipiani said that with its actions in Crimea and Donbas, Russia sought to "cripple" Ukraine.