17:36 Sep. 1, 2016
'Special status' of Donbas threatens to weaken and divide Ukraine as Russia wants, Pavlo Klimkin believes
Providing an autonomous status to the Donbas region, which is not under government control, is unacceptable for Ukraine, since in this way it will legitimize the Russian protectorate over the territory.
This was reported by Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin in his exclusive interview with Deutsche Welle, on Thursday, September 1.
"If we grant autonomy to Donbas, as Russia wants it, this may threaten to federalize, weaken and divide Ukraine. That is what Russia strives for. This will legitimize Russia's protectorate in Donbas. Afterwards, Kremlin's strategy will be to shove this protectorate - as the Trojan horse - back to Ukraine", Klimkin said.
He believes, restoration peace in Donbas requires complete ceasefire, weapons withdrawal and the OSCE observers' right to monitor the whole territory and part of the border with Russia.
Once these requirements are met, then the parties can start a dialogue on holding 'open and fair elections' in Donbas.
"How can we start preparing for the elections, if so many weapons are stationed in Donbas and constantly deployed there through the Ukrainian-Russian border?" Klimkin said.
The Minister also said that Ukraine stands for compliance with the Minsk agreements and Normandy format talks.