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Kiev vows ‘radical measures’ in Donbass unless peace is restored in a year

Talking about "Zelensky's formula," the top diplomat singled out the issue of prisoner exchange
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko
© REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

KIEV, September 17. /TASS/. A formula on Donbass, outlined by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, stipulates establishing peace in the region in six months or a year, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko told Ukraine’s ICTV channel on Tuesday.

"All in all, we have just six months or a year. And Zelensky’s formula ends by a phrase that we don’t have five years to continue talks. This is a conventional 'Zelensky’s formula'," Pristaiko said, stressing that Kiev would make every effort to live up to people’s expectations.

However, unless the Donbass crisis is ironed out in the near future, Kiev will be forced to implement "new radical measures," the top Ukrainian diplomat said, citing the president’s formula.

The minister explained that Zelensky’s plan on ending the war in Donbass in the near future also implies a prisoner exchange. "For example, we will try to return all our guys and girls, this is one part," Pristaiko said. Kiev will also take steps to reach out to people, who are on the other side of the contact line, he noted. In particular, the Ukrainian authorities plan to build a bridge in Stanitsa Luganskaya, and simplify pension application procedures.

In February 2015, participants of the Contact Group for settling the crisis in Donbass signed the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, known as Minsk-2, which had been earlier backed by the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine) leaders. The document envisages not only ceasefire, the withdrawal of hardware, amnesty and the restoration of economic ties, but also a constitutional reform in Ukraine aimed at ensuring the decentralization of powers while taking into account a special status for Donbass. However, this plan has not been fulfilled due to Kiev’s stance.