Kiev, Ukraine. The long drawn out Donbass conflict or genocide as many would argue, may come to an end faster thanks to the election of Macron in France, Ukraine’s negotiator former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma says in a recent interview on the prospects for peace in Donbass.
Ukraine’s representative in the Trilateral Contact Group, second president Leonid Kuchma believes that the establishment of peace in Donbas largely depends on the US and President Donald Trump.
“In my opinion, it depends mostly on the position of the United States, on US President Donald Trump. The US today is the key country that has a significant influence on Russia’s position. No one dares to make fun of America… Therefore, we also hope that given the recent statements by Trump and his team, they should pay more attention to the problem that exists in Ukraine. Let’s wait and see,” Kuchma told reporters in Nizhyn.
In his opinion, the European Union and the US can make Russia contribute to a peaceful resolution to this conflict, because Ukraine alone cannot do this.
Speaking about the possibility of changing the ‘Normandy format,’ Kuchma said: “We need to wait for the end of the elections in France. It is necessary that the European Union… should have a clear understandable position on the war in Ukraine. Nothing will change from adding anybody to this format.”
Experts believe new French President Macron will adopt the same hard line pro-Kiev prejudiced position German leader Merkel has. This was expected and really will not change anything. The key unknown are the quiet signals coming from US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Ukraine is not the priority it thinks it is on America’s list of things to do worldwide.
“In order to expand it, it is necessary to have the consent of all the participants… And there will be always someone against it. So we should stop talking about changing formats, etc., we should work within this format,” he added.
At the same time, Ukraine’s representative in the trilateral contact group believes that after the elections, France will take a tougher stand. But the end American position will outweigh all at the end of this situation.
Kuchma believes that France and Germany should press on Russia, so that the country should work in the ‘Minsk format.’ A format that has consistently failed for three years running and is an agreement the Ukrainians themselves do not take seriously and had no intention of honoring.