The peace process may take years / REUTERS

The full reintegration of Russia-occupied territories in eastern Ukraine, Donbas, may take at least a quarter of a century.

Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories Oleksiy Reznikov gave this forecast in an interview for the Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (Mirror Weekly) publication.

Read alsoFear and torture: Story of most terrifying prison in occupied Donbas

"Yes, I continue to insist that the full-fledged reintegration could take at least 25 years, at least one generation. This is my belief," he said.

He cited the example of Croatia, where the war ended 25 years ago but in particular, a mine clearance effort will last until 2026.

"When the [Russian] occupation ends one way or another, we will continue to work with the [local] population so that those territories fully enter the legal field of Ukraine, and most importantly, its mindset field," he said.

He also says that statements that it is possible to reintegrate the currently occupied territories within a year or two are made "because of misunderstanding." "Yes, it is [only] possible to restore the constitutional order," he added.

Ending the Russian occupation of Donbas and Crimea: Previous developments

  • On February 27, the head of the Holos (Voice) parliamentary faction, Serhiy Rakhmanin, presented a "plan for ending the occupation of Donbas and Crimea" – an alternative to the Minsk peace agreements. In the opinion of MPs from Holos, it should help "achieve peace on Ukrainian terms."
  • Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Reznikov said that the authorities wanted to create an international platform for negotiations on ending the Russian occupation of Crimea, but could not predict when it could happen and what format could be used.
  • President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his conviction that the war in Donbas could be completed any day, but Russia should also made its contribution to the peace process.