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Ukraine ‘does not rule out’ Donbass referendum – president

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he would not exclude the possibility of a referendum regarding the two disputed eastern regions or direct negotiations with Moscow, with support from the EU and the US.
Speaking on Friday, after a call with the French President Emmanuel Macron, Zelensky said he could see an “all-Ukrainian” referendum taking place. 

“I do not rule out a referendum on Donbass as a whole. It’s not a question of status,” Zelensky told Ukrainian TV channel 1+1 on Friday. “This could be about the Donbass, Crimea, and maybe in general on halting the war.” 

Zelensky also said he would not rule out direct negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and saw support for it from Ukraine’s European partners and the US. 

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        <img src="https://cdni.rt.com/files/2021.12/thumbnail/61b333a5203027679829fb3a.JPG" alt="FILE PHOTO: A militant of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) watches from a frontline position on the line of separation from the Ukrainian armed forces outside of the rebel-controlled city of Donetsk, Ukraine November 19, 2021. © REUTERS / Alexander Ermochenko" />
        <figcaption><a href="/russia/542794-ukraine-want-us-peace-donbass/">Ukraine reveals Biden-Zelensky understanding on Donbass</a></figcaption>
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A readout of the Macron-Zelensky call provided by Paris said the two presidents agreed to resume the talks in the so-called Normandy format, with the mediation of France and Germany. Macron pledged to discuss reviving the model with the new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz next week.

US President Joe Biden also spoke with Zelensky on Thursday, briefing the Ukrainian leader on his talks with Putin earlier in the week. 

The Normandy format was responsible for the Minsk agreements, which stopped the high-intensity fighting in the Donbass by the spring of 2015. The two eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk had declared independence from Ukraine in 2014, while Crimea voted to rejoin Russia, after US-backed revolutionaries overthrew the government in Kiev. The president elected in the aftermath, Petro Poroshenko, lost to Zelensky in 2019 in a landslide.

     https://ift.tt/3ydSfML 11, 2021 at 12:01AM

from RT – Daily news

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