Statements by President Zelensky are getting more ambitious and categorical every day, but things do not go beyond mere statements, DPR People’s Council deputy Valery Skorokhodov believes.

“Recently, Vladimir Zelensky has stated that the Minsk Format has a year to establish peace in Donbass, otherwise Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky will cease to participate in these summits.

Firstly, this statement has no factual basis. Zelensky was not the initiator of the negotiation process. He is just one of its members. At that, the inviolability of the Minsk process has been consolidated by both guarantor countries and the UN Security Council. The unilateral withdrawal from the agreements will give rise to tremendous reputational losses not for Kiev alone, but for Paris and Berlin as well.

Secondly, the entire impasse in the Minsk Agreements’ implementation is exclusively caused by the inaction and sheer sabotage by exactly the Ukrainian party. The special status for Donbass was never enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine, and work in this field has not even been launched.

On the contrary, some alternative scenarios for terminating the conflict emerge in the Ukrainian information space every now and then. These scenarios are as far from reality as possible.

This whole manipulative rhetoric pursues only one purpose — to make the Russian Federation one of the parties to the conflict, consolidate the sanctions mechanisms and freeze the conflict for further speculation in both domestic and foreign policy.

One way or another, Zelensky’s frankly populist statements should not, and cannot, be the defining vectors of the Ukrainian policy. The West and, above all, the United States have to explain to its Ukrainian subject the basic principles of diplomacy and what may result from the disregard of its commitments. Otherwise, Kiev should prepare for the toughest response of the Republics. And over the years of conflict we have proved more than once that we are able to respond strongly and in kind,” Valery Skorokhodov said.