Zelensky unable to counter Ukrainian nationalists today, expert says

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MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky took office amid expectations for peace, but he lacked the required political will and experience for ironing out the Donbass conflict and is unable today to counter nationalist movements in the country, President of the Primakov National Research Institute of the World Economy and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Dynkin told TASS.

“The Minsk agreements stipulate that the chain of events should be so: include a provision on regional autonomy in the Ukrainian Constitution, hold elections and hand over control of the border with Russia to Ukraine. Now they are beginning to twist the situation, saying that at first there should be control over the border and only then elections. We answer that then nationalists will enter the region and with the support of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry they will carry out there something like the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, we won’t allow that,” said Dynkin, who is also a member of the supervisory and scientific board of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC).

He explained that according to experts the situation in Donbass is a frozen conflict with low intensity and is the biggest conflict in Europe in the 21st century. “Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky lacked the political experience and political will. He rose to power amid expectations for peace and won a stunning victory in the presidential elections and the vote to the Rada. I think that we somehow lost the moment when he enjoyed overwhelming support and could have begun to negotiate. Today he is unable to counter nationalists,” the expert said.

“Kiev is blocking the progress of the Minsk agreements, which gives Brussels grounds to extend anti-Russian sanctions every year. <…> I don’t see any quick solution to the conflict in southeastern Ukraine. But if the conflict is ironed out, relations with Europe will improve,” he noted.