Ukraine Hopes for the Return of Crimea After the Reintegration of Donbass

The Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine said that there are five ways to return the DPR and LPR. According to him, all scenarios will work in favour of Ukraine, for which “there will be victory”.

“We will definitely return the borders of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and we will definitely return our Crimea,” he said.

The former head of Novorossiya – a pre-existing confederation that included the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics – Oleg Tsarev told “Primechaniya” what these ways are and how they will help Ukraine to return Crimea.

According to him, the statements are deliberately made in order to create the necessary background on the eve of the meeting in the Normandy Format on December 9th, when the heads of Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France will meet in Paris to discuss the special status of Donbass.

Tsarev says that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is not satisfied with the terms of the “Minsk Agreements” signed by Poroshenko, as well as the “Steinmeier formula“, which implies the following: the territory of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR should hold elections under Ukrainian laws, and if the OSCE recognises the holding of these elections, the law on the special status of Donbass will enter into force in the Republics.

The conditions under which the autonomous Republics with their state bodies, decentralised power, and foreign relations will exist on the money of Ukraine really do not suit Zelensky, and so he tries to revise them. In particular, to make five changes, which in Ukraine are called five ways of reintegration.

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“Zelensky wants to cut amnesty – at the last discussions in the Verkhovna Rada the amnesty of military personnel who have a Ukrainian passport was discussed. Those who additionally have a Russian passport – no amnesty for them. [The Minsk Agreements imply the exemption of all from persecution – ed]; in addition – the demand that the borders be handed over to Ukraine, and then hold elections there; no to amending the Constitution, which is clearly recorded in the Minsk Agreements – to limit it to the law on special status. This is an attempt to upgrade the Minsk Agreements. Here are these five options.”

At the same time Tsarev says that the President of Russia will not accept these conditions.

“There is one option that is committed to paper and signed, which Ukraine should implement – these are the Minsk Agreements. They are already a great compromise on the part of the Republics and Russia. And if at each meeting the compromise will be only in one direction, i.e., the Russian Federation and Donbass will concede every time, soon there will be nothing to defend. The Agreements, as they are, can protect the rights and freedoms of the people of Donbass. If to concede in any step from their implementation, there will be no guarantee that the residents of Donbass will be protected after joining Ukraine.”

At the same time, Ukraine’s statements about the return of Crimea after the reintegration of Donbass are simple populism.

“The issue of Crimea is most often raised only to increase pressure on Russia,” said the politician. “It’s like saying: make concessions on Donbass, and we will not raise the issue of Crimea. The rest is populism. I don’t imagine that in the next 10-20 years any President of Ukraine will change rhetoric and say that Crimea will not be returned to Ukraine. Everyone will say that ‘Crimea is our territory’.”

Nina Avdeyenko

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