Leonid Kuchma: Russia is freezing the conflict in the Donbas

The representative of Ukraine to the Trilateral Contact Group on the resolution of the situation in the Donbas, former President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, stated that Russia’s recognition of documents issued by the separatist areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions will lead to the freezing of the conflict in the same way it did in Transnistria, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

“In my view, Russia made the decision long ago to create conflict in the post-Soviet area, similar to their intervention in Transnistria – a frozen conflict. The situation with passports is a step in that direction,” Kuchma said. Leonid Kuchma reminded that Ukraine took a firm stance: security-related problems should be resolved first, and then political problems.

“Russia sees things differently and Europe is just watching for now,” Kuchma said. According to him, Russia has already passed the difficult sanctions period and managed to find alternate paths for the Russian market.

On the 18th of February, the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, signed an order approving Russia’s recognition of documents and license plate numbers issued to citizens of Ukraine and stateless people permanently residing in the separatist territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. Ukrainian leadership condemned such steps, claiming that it runs counter to the logic of the Minsk Agreements.

  Russia, Donbas, frozen conflict, Kuchma