The Ukrainian authorities are planning a nationwide referendum on ways to resolve the conflict in Donbass. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said this on Thursday at a press conference dedicated to his two-year stay in power.
“I am sure that after a while, because we have several plans [to resolve the conflict in Donbass] – A, B, C, and we talked about it – about ending the war and returning our temporarily occupied territories, – we will submit for consideration society, a referendum with such a theme,” – quoted the Ukrainian leader by the TASS news agency.
Contacts with Russia
Zelensky also announced the beginning of contacts between the offices of the presidents of Ukraine and the Russian Federation on a meeting with Vladimir Putin. The press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov confirmed that contacts between the two countries are being conducted, however, according to him, “the process is not easy,” and the outline of topics for discussion is “more conceptual than substantive.”
In April, the Ukrainian president invited his Russian counterpart to meet “anywhere in Donbass” and discuss the issue of the conflict in the east of the country. In response, Putin suggested that Zelensky first of all talk with the leaders of the self-proclaimed LPR and DPR, and only then involve third countries, including Russia, in the dialogue. At the same time, the President of the Russian Federation noted that he was ready to receive the Ukrainian leader in Moscow at any time to discuss bilateral relations.
At the same time, Zelensky reproached France and Germany for weakening their positions in relation to Russia. The President of Ukraine believes that this is due to the economic situation, as well as to “pressure within their countries.” He explained that he means “economic pressure due to the sanctions policy on Nord Stream 2. Despite criticism, Zelensky confirmed adherence to the Normandy format (Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia).
Ukraine without oligarchs
Also during a press conference, the President of Ukraine named one of his top priorities in office: a country without oligarchs.
“We are building a country without oligarchs. This is priority number one,” Zelensky said. “The top priority is that we are building a country without war. Peace must be strong, forever, and this must depend on our army, and it must be strong everywhere – on land , in water”.
The Ukrainian leader stated that he intends to fight in the country with representatives of big business, who create monopolies, control the media and influence officials. At the same time, Zelensky noted that the draft law on the so-called de-oligarchization in Ukraine is almost 100% ready and will soon be presented.
“The law is ready, it has been written. It is 100% ready. But we believe that there are several details,” the President of Ukraine noted.
The President confirmed that earlier the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine had identified a list of 13 people who are supposed to be classified as oligarchs, but refused to give their names.
The case of Viktor Medvedchuk is considered one of the examples of de-oligarchization in Ukraine. On May 13, the head of the political council of the Opposition Platform – For Life party was placed under house arrest on charges of high treason and other grave crimes. The Prosecutor General’s Office suspects Medvedchuk of transferring military secrets to Russia and causing probable damage to Ukraine in the amount of 40 billion hryvnias (about $ 1.5 billion). The head of the political council of the OPSZ himself called the accusations politically motivated and unsubstantiated.
Earlier, Forbes Ukraine magazine included Medvedchuk in the list of the richest residents of the country. In the ranking, he ranks 12th, his fortune is estimated at $ 620 million. Among his business interests, the authors of the list included companies from the fuel and energy complex, media and metallurgy.
During a press conference, the President of Ukraine noted that the “Medvedchuk era” in his country, like the era of corruption, is coming to an end.
“This is part of the society’s program. I believe that the Medvedchuk era is coming to an end,” Zelensky said. “We are cleaning the verticals of business. These verticals are in every institution of our state, in every ministry, in parliament, the great influence of these people. We have started and I will complete this.” …