The restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions can be achieved this year, said the Deputy Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine, Yuriy Hrymchak, during an interview with Radio Svoboda.
"I want it to happen this year. I have hope for this and I possess information that leads me to believe so," Hrymchak stressed, answering the question of when the entire Donbas will be returned to Ukraine.
The Deputy Minister stated that what leads him to believe these are things other than the recently adopted law on the reintegration of the Donbas.
"I will share the latest piece of information. The solution of the conflict in the Donbas is included in the activity plan of the UN Secretary-General for this year," he noted.
Replying to the journalist’s question for clarification as to whether he was referring to solutions for the conflict and not keeping it in a frozen state, Yuriy Hrymchak said, "Well, you should understand, it has not been planned in the last three years. This year it is."
On 6 October 2017 the Verkhovna Rada approved the President’s draft law "On the peculiarities of state policy on ensuring Ukraine's state sovereignty over the temporarily occupied territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions" in the first reading. In particular, the bill defines the separatist-held territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as “territories under occupation” and acknowledges the right of Ukraine to self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter.
On 18 January, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted Bill 7163 in the second reading. It was supported by 280 deputies.