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Fokin fired: Ukraine’s Zelensky sacks ex-PM from his Donbass peace delegation for saying Russia is not at war with Kiev

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FILE PHOTO. September 17, 2020
‘War in Europe’: Ukrainian leader Zelensky tells United Nations that Russia wants to divide the world into spheres of influence

He added that, by calling for elections in Donbass, Russia is demanding only what is stipulated in the Minsk agreements. The 87-year-old Fokin gave his opinion that, to control the situation in the turbulent region, it is necessary to bestow a special status on the territories of Donetsk and Lugansk.

In response to Fokin’s sacking from the group, President Zelensky’s office today released a statement claiming that his comments “are not a fair evaluation of the temporary occupation by Russia of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol, and certain districts within the Donetsk and Lugansk regions”. The statement said that Zelensky’s office had been “appalled” by his words.

Fokin had only joined the Donbass contact group in August, shortly after the chairmanship of the group was passed from Ukraine’s former president, Leonid Kuchma, to another former president, Leonid Kravchuk. The group comprises representatives from Ukraine, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. It aims to facilitate an end to the Donbass dispute by diplomatic means.

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