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USAID-Internews Supports Weekly Mirror’s Survey of Political Parties on Re-Integration of Donbas

July 14 – On July 12, USAID U-Media partner the “Weekly Mirror” (WM) newspaper organized a Chatham House rules roundtable called “Returning Home. De-Occupation and Reintegration of Donbas as Viewed by Leading Ukrainian Parties” in Kyiv. At the discussion, results from a recent survey of political party leaders were presented by WM editor-in-chief, Yulia Mostova, and deputy editor, Serhiy Rakhmanin, to approximately 40 diplomats, international organization representatives, and high-level experts.

The WM surveyed party leadership about their positions on Donbas’ status after its de-occupation, whether it is necessary to apply martial law, the future of the Minsk agreements for resolving the Russia-Ukraine conflict, voting rights of Donbas residents after de-occupation, conditions needed to make elections possible in occupied areas, the effectiveness of the Normandy Four negotiations, the future of the occupied Crimea, and other issues. Nine political parties answered 18 questions. According to the WM, all of the participating political parties have the chance to overcome the 5 percent barrier during the 2019 parliamentary elections: Petro Poroshenko Bloc, Civil Position, Democratic Alliance, National Corps, Our Land, Opposition Bloc, Samopomich (Self-Reliance), Svododa (Liberty), and Power of People (a new party).

On July 14, the WM published “Way Home. How to Reach Peace in Donbas? Task is as Complicated as Necessary,” an article by Serhiy Rakhmanin summarizing the survey. Among the most important survey conclusions is that none of the political forces, including the Opposition Bloc, calls the present conflict in eastern Ukraine a civil war. All surveyed political parties unanimously doubt the existing mechanisms of сonflict reconciliation are effective, however, and none of them support the idea of introducing martial law regime.

The table: Donbas_Reintegrate_PartiesZerkalo_eng

Eight out of nine parties do not believe direct negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow, or Kyiv with pro-Russian leaders currently in occupied Donbas, will be successful. Most political parties insist on the necessity of including the United States in the international negotiations process. Donbas reintegration methodology introduced by the recently adopted law On Peculiarities of State Policy on Ensuring State Sovereignty of Ukraine in the Temporary Occupied Territories in Donetsk and Luhank Oblasts seems vague to most of the parties. However, two parties (Civil Position and Power of People) recognize the effectiveness of peace missions and possible international governance of the de-occupied territories in the future. Six out of nine parties (Civil Position, Democratic Alliance, National Corps, Samopomich, Svoboda, and Power of People) believe it is necessary to break diplomatic relations with Russia.

More on the WM webpage in Ukrainian.