As Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Andriy Yermak will continue to work over the issues he dealt with in the status of Assistant to the Head of State, including the negotiation process with the Russian Federation and the release of Ukrainian prisoners of war.
“Today, there is nothing more important than ending the war, preventing casualties among our people and returning all our citizens. I think this is the most important task we have received from the President of Ukraine. And we will fulfill it,” Andriy Yermak said during a briefing at the Office of the President of Ukraine.
Answering the question about the possibility of holding local elections in Donbas in October this year, the Head of the Office noted that it was a logical step, since local elections were planned on the whole territory of Ukraine for that time. But such elections should be held solely under Ukrainian law and subject to Ukraine regaining control over the eastern border.
“We have a clear view of what must take place for the elections to be held throughout Ukraine in late October in accordance with Ukrainian law. I wouldn't talk about any compromises,” Andriy Yermak said.
At the same time, he assured that statements made by some politicians about the possibility of launching water supply to the territory of the occupied Crimean peninsula in exchange for regaining control over Donbas was only their personal opinion.
Andriy Yermak stated that after the end of the war in Donbas, this region should be made a land with advanced economy.
“We have such a dream: after the war, after the return of territories, the establishment of control over the Ukrainian border, we really want to make a modern economic hub there, bring new technologies and business. Because this is our territory, and it deserves to get a second life,” he stressed.
At the same time, Andriy Yermak announced that there were no plans to hold a meeting between President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin before the meeting in the Normandy format.
“This decision will be made by the President. If he considers this meeting necessary, it can be a step towards achieving real results from the Normandy format negotiations, we do not rule it out,” the Head of the President's Office summarized.