Monday 20 May 2019

Kremlin raises prospect of deal to give Ukraine control of east

Ukraine politician Viktor Medvedchuk. Photo: Reuters/Andrew Osborn
Ukraine politician Viktor Medvedchuk. Photo: Reuters/Andrew Osborn

Andrew Osborn

Ukraine's new president could regain control over the separatist-controlled east of his country and get cheap gas and major investment from Russia if he repairs ties with Moscow, the Kremlin's closest ally in Ukraine has said.

Viktor Medvedchuk, a prominent figure in Ukraine's Russia-leaning opposition, outlined the prospect before a presidential election run-off in Ukraine tomorrow which polls show political novice Volodymyr Zelenskiy (41), a TV comedian, should easily win.

He said the Kremlin was keen to know if he is someone it could do a deal with, something it failed to do with incumbent Petro Poroshenko.

"They want to see what happens afterwards, who will be in his entourage, and what he will do and with whom," said Mr Medvedchuk.

The Kremlin has made clear it hopes any new president can implement a peace deal on Donbass, eastern Ukraine, which has been under separatist control since 2014.

Irish Independent

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