Ukrainian President promises to hold referendum on settlement in Donbas

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was considering holding a nationwide referendum on a settlement in the Donbas, UNIAN reports.

"Regarding the national referendum, I believe that this should be the most important issue that we have today. I believe that this is the situation in the Donbas," said Zelensky at a press conference.

According to Zelensky, this will take some time as Kyiv has several plans to end the war and take back the occupied territories and people. "We will propose to the public a referendum with such a subject," said Zelensky.

According to the Ukrainian President, Kyiv should protect the rights of national minorities to prevent situations like those with the Donbas and Crimea. "We have a lot of minorities. And all these minorities, despite the legislation that some radical people like or dislike, will have to be protected by us. Otherwise, we will have more Donbases and Crimeas in the future," said Zelensky.

In March, the situations on the line of contact in the Donbas escalated. Russia deployed large number of troops near Ukrainian borders.

The Russian Defense Ministry explained that the deployment of troops was part of military exercises of the Southern Military District. The United States and other NATO countries have expressed concern about the deployment of Russian troops. The Kremlin responded by saying that the movement of troops across the country should not worry other states and does not threaten them.

At the end of April, Zelensky said that in order to resolve the conflict in the Donbas, another format with the participation of interested countries could be created in parallel with the Normandy negotiations. In addition, the President called for revising the Minsk negotiation process to make it more flexible. “At the same time, negotiations are ongoing within the framework of the Minsk format, in particular in the Trilateral Contact Group,” Zelensky said. "I still think that all parties will reach an agreement to announce a new ceasefire and restart this process not only in words, but also in writing," he said.

  Zelensky, Donbas, Ukraine, Russia