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Russian envoy appreciates Kuchma’s work on Donbass settlement as ex-Ukrainian president leaves contact group

Russian envoy appreciates Kuchma’s work on Donbass settlement as ex-Ukrainian president leaves contact group

Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma did a lot to make sure that Kiev implements its obligations under the Minsk agreements, Russian presidential envoy to the Contact Group on the settlement in Donbass, Boris Gryzlov, has said. He was commenting Tuesday on Kuchma’s decision to step down as head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Minsk talks on the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“The approval of additional measures to monitor the ceasefire in Donbass, which was the last of the Contact Group’s moves that involved Kuchma, is an important step in the right direction,” Gryzlov said. He noted that Kuchma “took an active part in creating and promoting the infrastructure of negotiations between Kiev and Donbass.”

“Unlike some other Ukrainian politicians, Kuchma understood the danger of Kiev’s military gambles and did not support the idea of undermining the talks,” TASS quoted the Russian envoy as saying.

Kuchma, 81, was Ukrainian president in 1994-2005 and served as presidential envoy to the Contact Group in 2014-2018. President Volodymyr Zelensky named Kuchma as his envoy to the group on June 3, 2019.