Kravchuk suggests that Russia and Ukraine hold direct talks

The former first president of Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk said in an interview with Radio Liberty that in order to stop the war that Russia is waging against Ukraine, a direct agreement is needed between the leaders of both states.

"It is necessary, first of all, no matter how difficult it is, to achieve a meeting at the level of the Russian and Ukrainian authorities, one on one. What is happening in the Donbas is the hand of the Kremlin, and until we agree with Russia... [about what] we can do, about what Russia can do, about what we cannot do, we will never be able to talk about territorial integrity and sovereignty. Everything else can be discussed. This is one of the ways," Kravchuk said.

Kravchuk also explained that it is necessary to change the Minsk format. The parties must either switch to the Budapest format or stay with Minsk but "fill it with another meaning."

The former president of Ukraine believes stopping the war formally depends on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Presently, a peaceful settlement process is being conducted in three ways. A Tripartite Contact Group (OSCE, Ukraine, and Russia) is working in Minsk, including representatives of the separatists. In addition, there is a "Normandy format" (France, Germany, Ukraine, Russia), within which political advisers, foreign ministers and heads of state meet. Another format of negotiations is the meetings of the US Special Representative Kurt Volker with the Russian President's aide, Vladislav Surkov.

  Russia, Ukraine, Donbas, War in Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk