President Volodymyr Zelensky included the first Prime Minister of independent Ukraine, Vitold Fokin, in the Ukrainian delegation to the Tripartite Contact Group for the Peaceful Settlement of the Situation in Donbas.

According to the President’s office press service, Fokin has been appointed as the first deputy head of the Ukrainian delegation.

According to Leonid Kravchuk, Fokin will help to establish co-operation with Donbas residents throughout Ukraine.

“His main task, as emphasised by both President Zelensky and the President Office Ermak head, is the interaction and coordination of negotiations between civil society institutions, Ukrainian citizens living in uncontrolled territories and Donbas residents who leave in the rest of Ukraine’s territory, a number that already reaches 1.5 million people. Plenty of them have also moved abroad,” Ukraine’s first president said.

From his point of view, to resolve the situation in Donbas, it is important to know not only the “leaders of these entities” or the Russian Federation’s opinion but also the attitude of the region’s residents who have become migrants.

“This is a question of Vitold Fokin. He is a Donbas resident. He has worked in the mines since he was 16. He was the Prime Minister of Ukraine, participated in the Bialowieza talks. Fokin knows Donbas well, these people; he has a lot of contacts there. I think that his capabilities and ability to apply such a calm, compromised, analytical approach will be useful for this case,” Kravchuk stated.

To recap, the Ukrainian delegation at the Minsk talks was headed by 82-year-old second President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma until the end of July. He resigned because got tired of negotiating, according to him. After that, the President of Ukraine appointed the 86-year-old first President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk to serve as the head of the delegation. 87-year-old former Prime Minister of Ukraine Vitold Fokin now becomes his first deputy.

Bohdan Marusyak

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