Contacts with the eastern “separatists” take place on a regular basis through video-conferencing, Leonid Kuchma, the second president of Ukraine and a member of the contact group (to resolve the situation in the Donbas — Ed.), told TSN on Wednesday, July 23. He confirmed that last week the contact group held negotiations on the admission of international missions to the crash site of the Boeing 777 in Tores.
In addition, Kuchma reported that the representatives of Russia and the separatists are not changing their positions and are not willing to compromise.
“We meet almost every day. People on the other side are like parrots: we are the Donetsk and Luhansk ‘people’s republics’ and we do not recognize anything else, they say. They are not the ones driving the compromise negotiations — it is Russia, in my view. They are demanding that, at a minimum, Russian be made a state language throughout all of Ukraine. They’re also demanding independence for each region — not the type of self-government that we are proposing in terms of more local power. What they want is federalization, and federalization for Ukraine means that after a while there will be no Ukraine at all,” Kuchma said.
As previously reported, Putin has declared that the conflict in the Donbas needs to move from the military phase to the “negotiation phase” with the terrorists and blamed the conflict for the downing of the Boeing 777.