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Kiev eyes retake of Donbass until end of 2020 but drafts plan B

The chief of the presidential staff did not disclose any details of plan B, just clarifying that it is not about building a wall
Gorlovka, Donetsk region Valentin Sprinchak/TASS
Gorlovka, Donetsk region
© Valentin Sprinchak/TASS

KIEV, May 7. /TASS/. The Ukrainian leadership will do everything possible to retake uncontrolled areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions before the end of this year but is also preparing a backup plan, chief of the Ukrainian president’s staff Andrei Yermak told reporters on Thursday.

"We are not planning to hold futile talks for years. We have been demonstrating that Ukraine is doing everything possible to end the war," quotes him as saying.

Yermak asserted that the authorities "will do everything in their capacity" to bring back the Donbass territories under control. "However, we also have a detailed plan B. But we will talk about it when we see that plan A is not working," Yermak added. The chief of staff did not disclose any details of this plan, just clarifying that it is not about building a wall. Last December, when he served as an aide to the president, Yermak revealed that there is an option on the table to separate Donbass from the rest of the country by constructing a wall if peaceful settlement fails, pointing to the Israeli experience.

Last Thursday, Normandy Four (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine) foreign ministers held a videoconference meeting on the Donbass conflict settlement. The ministers acknowledged that the countries were unsatisfied with implementation of the agreements reached at the latest Normandy Four summit in Paris and called on the parties to the conflict to set a ceasefire date and make preparations for future detainee swaps. The ministers also underlined that foreign ministry-level contacts should continue, acknowledging that conditions for a new Normandy Four summit are yet to be met.