Deputy of the Verhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) Nadiya Savchenko stated in an interview with Channel 112 Ukraine that the occupied territories of the Donbas can be returned only after “ceding” the Crimea to Russia.
She believes that this is the only non-military way of returning the Donbas to Ukraine.
According to her, any other solution will require a military operation.
She suggests that the Crimea be “given to Russia temporarily” since this is the only way to return the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions to Ukraine.
“If this [return of the territories] is to be done peacefully, provided that Russia cannot bear the sanctions any longer- this will require giving up the Crimea,” she stated
“Certain deputies can shout and rip their shirts from the podium, they can shout that 'we will not give it up [the Crimea], we should not forget it'. The Crimea will still remain the unrecognized occupied territory. The Crimea is the next Transnistria. And in order not to make the Donbas the next Transnistria, they [Russia] will take the occupied Crimea and give the Donbas back,” Savchenko stated.
The Kremlin issued a statement following Savchenko comments.
“The question is not up for discussions and is non negotiable for the Russian Federation. We do not discuss the status, and the situation of Russian regions. This is not a question to be discussed with anybody,” the press Secretary for the Russian President, Dmitry Peskov, stated.
“As for the influence of Russia on the republics of the Donbas, you know, that Russia is doing all it could, to promote the settlement of the conflict in Ukraine. It is necessary that Ukraine itself does not give up these republics,” Peskov added.