21 October 2016

On 19th October the “Normandy Group” met for another round of negotiations.

Once again we must acknowledge the complexity and ambiguousness of the events.

What is clear is that the resumption of the negotiations shows that the Normandy format is still alive. The Parties agreed to complete a roadmap for the implementation of the memorandum, and that is an undeniably positive development. Another important result is the outlining of concrete steps on how to proceed: local elections will be held in Donbass, and controls of national borders will be restored.

Resistance to the current Ukranian Coalition in the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) by the top echelons of power in Donbass, Russia and Ukraine is very high. It must be overcome if Ukraine is to prosper. For the sake of the country, peace must be our priority.

I consider working towards reconciliation in our native land as our shared goal and I am convinced that the Verkhovna Rada must play a leadship role in the settlement process.

I am sure that the opposition, in particular the Opposition Bloc as a party, has a distinct role to play in working towards a peaceful outcome, having the majority of supporters within the South-East of the country in general, and the conflict zone in particular.

In order to actuate a peaceful settlement process we, the Opposition Block, have submitted a proposal to the Verkhovna Rada. We recommended that parliament adopt a legislative package of ten laws, which would facilitate the implementation of the main tasks of de-escalating the conflict, lifting the blockade and reunifiying Donbass. Moreover, our political party is continuously consulting our western partners and their parliaments regarding the implementation of the final “Minsk” agreement.

We, the constructive opposition, are ready and willing to cooperate with any political force in the country in order to work towards a political settlement on Donbass. We are also ready to work with the current government.

However, if the current authorities continue to put their own interests first, if they continue with their policy of “neither war, nor peace”, bringing the country into the social and economic crisis, I assure you, that we, the opposition, will do everything in our power to bring about change.

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