02 November 2020

A statement by Oleksiy Reznikov, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, the Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, a representative of Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk, who called the Donbass a "cancerous tumour" on the body of Ukraine, and its inhabitants – "mentally sick", gives evidence of reinforcement of the "war party" that is trying to continue the line of escalation of the conflict in the East of Ukraine.

“These are sick territories, mentally sick as well. There is an option of complete resection, amputation, or treatment. I am for therapy and full restoration of our body,” said Reznikov, making it clear that he is far from seeking compromises in this matter.

It is noteworthy that such statements are made at a time when the self-proclaimed republics submit their roadmap for resolving the conflict to the Ukrainian side for consideration, and this project has many positive and acceptable points. At the very least, this document could be seen as significant progress in the negotiations. The Ukrainian side had to say its word. If statement by Reznikov is Ukraine's response, then it is the Ukrainian side that now demonstrates its inability to negotiate, in the eyes of the world community.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy repeatedly articulated his intent to achieve peace in Ukraine. Statements by Reznikov, a person authorized to seek a formula for peace and negotiate on behalf of Ukraine, sound like a challenge and a rejection of the former policy. Moreover, these words were voiced on the air of the channel belonging to Petro Poroshenko, in a program hosted by a well-known propagandist and hate monger.

In essence, we are witnessing how Poroshenkovism is reviving in Ukraine, which is the most reactionary manifestation of Ukrainian nationalism with violation of all norms of legality and the foundations of sovereignty. And the President's inner circle is pushing him to actions directly opposite to what was announced during the presidential elections in 2019. The confrontation with the Constitutional Court, Reznikov's revelations, the bellicose words of Volodymyr Zelenskyy are all links in the same chain.

I believe that after his statement Oleksiy Reznikov has no moral right to further address questions of the Donbass’s reintegration and he should both lay down his powers in the Trilateral Contact Group and resign from his posts in the government.

I am sure that Ukraine will show its wish to reach a compromise in the fratricidal war in the Donbass and will propose its own version of the road map so that further discussion within the TCG is more effective.

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