the Former President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma has stopped working in the Trilateral contact group (TCG) on the settlement of the conflict in the Donbass. This was announced by acting Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. The decision to leave Kuchma took himself. Who will represent Kiev in the contact group, yet to be announced. Candidate of political Sciences Alexey Yakubina believes that the departure of the negotiator on the peace process will not be reflected.

Vladimir Zelensky thanked Kuchma for his work and praised his contribution to unblocking the peace process. He said that will always be ready to hear his advice in the future.

Director of the Foundation Ukrainian politics Konstantin Bondarenko believes that the decision was quite expected. “First, it is age related. Secondly, being the most successful President in the history of Ukraine, he did not want to engage in fruitless business. Two months ago, Kuchma has stated his intention to leave, so it was expected and announced in advance”, – said the expert.

Leonid Kuchma was involved in the negotiations for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the East of Ukraine from 2014 to 2018. Then he said that he was leaving the post because of the “critical age”, explaining that it will be time to stop. However, in the middle of 2019 Kuchma decided to re-become a negotiator on the issue. In particular, it insisted Zelensky, who noted he wants to see in this post, professional person.

what effect will the departure of Kuchma in the negotiation process, “MK” said Ukrainian political analyst Alexei Yakubina:

– First of all, Kuchma has not young people, so due to objective reasons it is already less able to pay attention to the Minsk contact group. Parallel to this, a reorganization of the Contact group. Introduced to representatives of the government and Parliament of Ukraine. This has changed the configuration of the Ukrainian delegation. If Kuchma was needed as the person who positively perceived by all parties to the conflict and could act as a mediator, establishing a dialogue with Kiev and samoprovzglashenny republics of Donbass, Russia and the OSCE, now a function of intermediation has been reduced to a minimum.

in addition, there is the factor of oligarch Viktor Pinchuk. As you know, Kuchma is his son-in-law. While recently there has been some distancing Zelensky from Pinchuk. In particular, this is illustrated by the deputies, who are called “Sarasate” and associated with the oligarch. It is possible that a decision on Kuchma were taken in the same context. At least, when Zelensky was close to Pinchuk, Kuchma returned to the Contact group. However, even then he knew that he would not hold the position for 5 more years, then it seemed that progress in settledAI conflict will be much faster.

– How would you assess the work of Kuchma at the talks in Minsk?

– He was one of those who in principle favoured a compromise approach. For example, between him and Irina Gerashchenko was a huge difference, Kuchma tried to avoid a public showdown, tantrums and so forth, but on the contrary it was a brilliant representative of the “party of war”. Kuchma played a stabilizing role.

Care Kuchma will affect the negotiation process?

– major changes should not be. Kuchma may replace the representatives of the government and the Verkhovna Rada. Conclusion a large truce may be telling us that some common ground they can find on the other side of the conflict.