KIEV, April 18. /TASS/. Ukrainian front-running presidential candidate Vladimir Zelensky is against the idea of granting a special status to Donbass, he said in an interview with RBC Ukraine news agency published on Thursday.
"I believe that no," he said answering a question whether the war-torn Donbass region should obtain a special status. Zelensky acknowledged that a solution to the conflict in the region won’t be quick. "This is our great story and it will take us long to solve this criminal situation."
According to Zelensky, one of tools of ironing out the conflict is infowar. "What can be helpful for us here is infowar. I hope very much information will help these people understand that they need Ukraine and Ukraine needs them, and they are the same Ukrainians as others," he said, explaining that "many humanitarian steps should be taken here."
In particular, the presidential candidate suggested creating a major European media portal in the Russian language, which will be broadcast across Europe and tell the truth about the events in Ukraine, which the citizens of Donbass want to hear. Zelensky labeled the citizens of Donbas territories not controlled by Kiev as "hostages." Meanwhile, dismissed the idea of signing a law on amnesty for those who took part in the combat actions in Donbass.
The Minsk peace agreements on Ukraine envisaged a constitutional reform, under which Donbass would get a special status on a permanent basis. However, the Ukrainian parliament has not passed the constitutional amendments. The law on a special status earlier adopted by the Verkhovna Rada has been basically frozen until the election in the region. Moreover, neither the constitutional amendments nor the law guarantee granting a special status to Donbass on a permanent basis, and this period is limited to just three years.
In the first round of Ukraine’s presidential race on March 31, the candidate from the Servant of the People party Vladimir Zelensky received 30.24% of the vote, while incumbent Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, who seeks a second term, came in second with 15.95%. The runoff is scheduled for April 21.