Leonid Kravchuk / Photo from UNIAN
Head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on Donbas Leonid Kravchuk says Russia sees no other way in resolving issues but to use force.
"We will proceed from the fact that the Russians are constantly preparing for some kind of war and have been fighting for 150 years if we take the whole history of Russia. They see no other way in resolving issues but to use force," he told Ukraina 24 TV channel, commenting on Russia's refusal to ensure a full ceasefire in Donbas from April 1.
"The Russian position is in the first place for them, while the norms of international law are not obligatory for them. Another thing is that we must be prepared for such a scenario and do everything to prevent the worst from happening," the official said.
Read also Kuleba, Blinken discuss latest escalation in Donbas According to Kravchuk, the Russians believe Ukraine should comply with those "whims" they consider necessary and those solutions they propose, but "they refuse to negotiate."
"That is, we should know it is very difficult to come to an agreement with Russia, but this does not mean we will give up. We have proposed and will continue offering actions or steps to show that there is nothing more important for Ukraine than ending the war in Donbas, and the return to the ceasefire is the first and most important step. Other steps become real after that," he added.
Escalation in Donbas
- On March 26, 2021, four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and another two were wounded in enemy shelling near the village of Shumy in Donbas, eastern Ukraine.
- In this regard, President Volodymyr Zelensky instructed Ukraine's delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas to initiate an urgent meeting of the security subgroup, as well as urgently discussing this issue at the level of advisers to the Normandy Four leaders.
- Zelensky also planned to hold separate talks with all Normandy leaders in the near future.
- On March 30, 2021, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron held a phone talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin and called on Russia to take on obligations to stabilize the ceasefire in Donbas.
- At the same time, the Kremlin said Macron and Merkel had not demanded that the Russian Federation take on obligations to stabilize the ceasefire in Donbas.
- On March 31, 2021, Kravchuk proposed that the Russian counterparts ensure compliance with the full and comprehensive ceasefire in Donbas starting from April 1, but the Russian delegation showed no support for the initiative.
Translation: Kanaryan Lyudmila