Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The Foreign Minister of Russia and Ukraine held a meeting, the first one in a long time, on the sidelines of the meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Vienna. The question of an exchange of prisoners in the conflict zone in the southeast of Ukraine became the key subject of negotiations between Sergey Lavrov and Pavel Klimkin.
The former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada and former speaker of the parliament of Novorossiya Oleg Tsarev stated on the air of NSN that he doesn’t expect cardinal changes to happen in relations between the two countries following the results of this meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs. According to him, the Ukrainian President’s political line doesn’t allow Ukraine to abandon the chosen russophobic course.
“I don’t think that Klimkin has wide powers. Because the political situation is such that Poroshenko has a very narrow corridor within which he can make decisions. He drove himself into a trap, in which he is forced to only increase russophobia. Should the position in relation to Russia soften, the majority in parliament on his side will begin to crumble, and afterwards he will lose his power. That’s why I am sure that one shouldn’t expect serious breakthroughs or changes to Ukraine’s course as a result of these negotiations,” said Tsarev.
He explained why the leadership of Ukraine needed this meeting between heads of Foreign Ministries.
“The issue of exchanging prisoners was discussed because, should it be successful, Medvedchuk will get all the praise (the representative of Kiev in the humanitarian subgroup on Donbass, the leader of social movement ‘Ukrainian Choice’ Viktor Medvedchuk). But the authorities in power led by Poroshenko want to receive a part of the victory concerning this issue. That’s why Klimkin’s meeting was also needed in order to say afterwards that it is precisely thanks to this meeting that a breakthrough in relation to exchanging prisoners was achieved. Moreover, it is the only issue on which there is a consensus in Ukrainian society,” explained Tsarev.
Following the results of Lavrov and Klimkin’s meeting, the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that advancing in the question of exchanging prisoners must be realised in the next few weeks, notes the website “Mosregtoday”.
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