Zelensky says there is no surrender of Ukraine's national interests

Zelensky says there is no surrender of Ukraine's national interests

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that his position coincides with the position of all Ukrainians that Donbas is part of Ukraine and that peace must prevail there, the ceasefire must be completed and foreign military formations must be withdrawn.

He said this in a video address posted on the YouTube channel of the Office of the President on Thursday, October 3.

"There will be a meeting in the Normandy format together with the President of France, the Chancellor of Germany and the President of the Russian Federation where we will discuss ways to end the war in Donbas. My position on this issue is clear and it is in line with the position of all Ukrainians: we all understand that Donbas is Ukraine. Peace must prevail there, the ceasefire must be completed and foreign military formations must be withdrawn," Zelensky said.

He added that there should be Ukrainian border guards on the Ukrainian-Russian border.

"An exchange of captives must take place for all our citizens to return home. And elections should take place not at the barrel of machine guns, but under Ukrainian law, with the access of candidates from the Ukrainian political parties, the Ukrainian media and international observers, with the possibility for all internally displaced persons to exercise their suffrage," the president added.

He noted that all these issues would be discussed at the Normandy format summit.

"Will a new law on a special status be signed there? No. This law is in force until December 31, 2019. There will be a new law. Will we develop it ourselves and adopt it quickly? No. We will write it together - in cooperation and public discussion with Ukrainian society. Without crossing any 'red line.' So, there is no capitulation. No surrender of Ukraine's national interests. No agreements and global steps without the consent of the people of Ukraine," Zelensky said.

He also added that he respected the constitutional right of every Ukrainian citizen to protest.

"I hear you and believe me - I will never surrender Ukraine! At the same time, I urge everyone to consider the situation calmly and not to give in to manipulations and provocations of some persons," Zelensky added.

Zelensky said on October 1 that Ukraine had approved the text of the so-called "Steinmeier formula." According to him, it provides for the adoption in Ukraine of a temporary law on a special status for Donbas, which will be permanent if the OSCE recognizes local elections in these territories as democratic.

At the same time, a number of Ukrainian parties, activists and public figures strongly criticized the possibility of signing this "road map." In their opinion, the security part of the Minsk agreements must be implemented first. It means that the withdrawal of troops and the regaining of Ukraine's control over the border should precede the elections and the discussion of the status of Donbas.


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