KIEV, February 9. /TASS/. It looks like United States Vice President Joe Biden’s narrowing Ukraine’s borders "from Lviv to Kharkiv" was not a mere coincidence as the Western political circles are speculating on possible sovereignization of Donbas, a Ukrainian political expert told TASS on Monday.
In his speech at the recent Munich Security Conference, Biden said that "Ukrainians are more unified as a nation from Lviv to Kharkiv than at any time in the last 25 years."
"There are no coincidences in the diplomatic language," said Ruslan Bortnik, the director of the Ukrainian Institute of Policy Analysis and Management. It [Biden’s passage on the Ukrainian borders] stems from the fact that the Western political circles are actively discussing the issue of Donbas’ sovereinization, which means Donbas’ having a common legal environment with Ukraine but enjoying an autonomous status."
And it’s not all about a formal status, the expert noted. "He [Biden] understands that the legal environment might be common, the territory might be common, but in terms of politics and ideology, Donbas will differ from the rest of Ukraine in the next five to ten years," Bortnik said. "It will have its own point of view, its own ideologies that could hardly be unified with those existing in Ukraine in the immediate future."
However, Bortnik said Biden was unlikely to mean complete separation of Donbas. "I rule out that he meant separation of this region from Ukraine," he underscored.
At the same time, the Ukrainian expert said he did not exclude that many other Ukrainian regions might be willing to use a chance for expanding their powers. "If the issue of decentralization and regionalization, which are being so widely spoken about now, is finally raised, I am sure there will be many elites in Ukraine that will seek to use this concept of regionalization or sovereignization," Bortnik said. "We have Dnipropetrovsk, the Transcarpathian region, Lviv that are ready [for sovereignization]. We have very strong and self-sufficient regional elites that would want more authority - at least like in Donbas, not wanting to engage in warfare."