Tsarev: Pro-War Forces Inside Zelensky’s Party, Cabinet Are Still Strong

Granting special status to Donbass is a big step forward in the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, assures the former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and former speaker of the Parliament of Novorossiya Oleg Tsarev.

Ukraine is ready to comply with the terms of the Minsk Agreements and grant Donbass special status, said Andrey Ermak, an assistant to Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky.

“Ukraine is ready to implement the provision of the Minsk Agreements, which provides for constitutional reform in terms of decentralisation. No federalisation is involved,” said the Ukrainian official.

Ermak indicated that the Ukrainian authorities would limit the reform to decentralisation issues. However, in such a case the territories of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic “may receive additional powers”, explained Zelensky’s assistant.

In addition, the extension of the law on the status of the Donbass depends on the results of the meeting of the leaders of the Normandy Four, the official explained. Ermak noted that only after the summit in Paris will the President of Ukraine be ready to submit a bill to the Verkhovna Rada for consideration.

According to Oleg Tsarev, the assistant to Zelensky Andrey Ermak focused in his hands the entire foreign policy agenda of Ukraine.

“In this regard, he has some conflict with other representatives of the Kiev authorities. Thus, [Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine] Elena Zerkal had to go into opposition to Zelensky, because she was determined to remain in conflict with Russia. Former Foreign Minister Vadim Prystaiko received a scolding from the administration for making his comments. In turn, Ermak is determined to implement the Minsk Agreements. He has his own channels of communication with the leadership of the Russian Federation,” said Tsarev in conversation with the Federal News Agency.

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Nevertheless, Ermak is in a very difficult situation, because the “party of war” inside Zelensky’s faction and in the Cabinet of Ministers is strong enough, the politician says.

“Therefore, on the one hand, he uses formulations that would not expose Zelensky, and on the other hand, would allow to fulfil the commitments made by Kiev. It is difficult to say what changes to the Constitution should be named and at what stage decentralisation turns into autonomy or federal powers. This is a point of discussion. But in terms of PR, this decision will allow him to move forward. Thus, it is a big step forward, as well as for the personal position of Ermak, who Zelensky trusts. He will try to make a lot of efforts to implement the Minsk Agreements. Zelensky realised that Ermak can negotiate with the Russian Federation and has high hopes for him,” said the former deputy of the Rada.

Denis Rasskazchikov

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