Ukrainian politician: Russia offered to ‘solve’ Donbas problem in exchange for Crimea

Yevhen Marchuk, Ukraine’s representative in the security subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), told reporters that in other work groups he receives offers to deal with the situation in the Donbas by Ukraine officially renouncing its claims to Russia-annexed Crimea.

“I am involved in another two (aside from the TCG) international platforms on the Donbas. In the coffee breaks, they say to me that if Ukraine officially renounces Crimea, and takes away the Crimean problem, it could be a serious platform for dealing with the matter in the Donbas. They say this is not a final solution, but a partial one, but it won’t be private individuals who negotiate with me,” Marchuk said.

Marchuk represents Ukraine in another international group that is trying to find a compromise on the UN peacekeeping mission’s mandate in the Donbas.

In October last year at a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Czech President Miloš Zeman put forward the idea that Russia pay Ukraine compensation for Crimea. Zeman said that the annexation of Crimea “is already an accomplished fact, and it is no longer possible to bring the situation back to its original state”. Under these circumstances, he suggested that the matter be resolved through Russia paying Ukraine compensation, either monetary, or using oil and gas.

The Ukrainian authorities dismissed the proposition. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry stressed that the country would not trade away its territory.

  Ukraine, Russia, Crimea, Donbas