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Donetsk, Lugansk autonomy remains only way for compromise in East Ukraine — politician

KIEV, August 26. /TASS/. Vesting the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) with broad autonomy within Ukraine can be a possible compromise for settling the Ukrainian crisis, said Viktor Medvedchuk, leader of the public movement “Ukrainian Choice – People’s Right.”

“We should take the path of finding a compromise, and I see this compromise in granting them autonomy,” he said.

Medvedchuk said that according to surveys, about 43% of DPR and LPR residents favor an autonomy within Ukraine, while nearly the same number of respondents want the region to become fully independent from Kiev.

“Where there is 43%, there can be 51 or 52%, and we should work in this direction,” he said, urging the Ukrainian government to engage in direct talks with the leadership of the self-proclaimed republics.

In this context, he said he disagreed with Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov’s statement that the Minsk agreements on Ukrainian reconciliation were “dead, and we should deal with it.”

The politician added that although the Minsk agreements are far from being implemented, there is no alternative to them so far.

Prisoner swap

Medvedchuk said the prisoner swap between the Kiev government and the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine should be held only under the all-for-all formula. 

“My stance – and not only mine – is that Minsk agreement stipulate the all-for-all swap. Although the Minsk agreements were [signed] long ago, Normandy Four leaders have signed an agreement on March 29, 2018, intended to optimize and boost the implementation of the Minsk deal. The last provision of this document calls on to continue successful exchanges that took place on December 27, 2017, under the all-for-all principle,” he said.

He stressed that the document was signed by all leaders of the Normandy Four nations, including Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko.

“We need to take the path of compromise, the path of direct dialogue. We must bring those people back home, at all costs. But the cost is known – mutual release [of prisoners],” the Ukrainian politician added.

Read the original article in full at TASS

Article Sourced via TASS

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