Donetsk, Jun 4 - DAN. The appointment of former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma as the country’s representative to the Contact Group shows that Kiev has no political course towards settling the Donbass conflict, leader of the Free Donbass fraction in the Donetsk People’s Republic parliament Alexey Zhigulin told the Donetsk News Agency on Tuesday.

“The appointment of a former Ukrainian president to the post of envoy to the negotiations not only shows the helplessness of the new government and its lack of a clear political course, but also the real attitude of (Ukrainian President - eds Donetsk News Agency) Vladimir Zelensky to the Minsk Agreements,” Zhigulin said.

He added that the new president’s actions showed his unwillingness to have a peace dialogue. “I believe that Ukraine’s new puppet government will follow their predecessors’ line,” the parliamentarian said.

He noted in this connection the growing oligarchic influence on key decision-making by the president. “Oligarch Kolomoisky’s partner (experts say that he is Zelensky’s main sponsor and patron - eds DAN) Mr Pinchuk is an oligarch, too; it’s common knowledge that Kuchma’s son-in-law recently had a meeting with Zelensky. And despite this, Kuchma is appointed to this responsible post. In that country, the authorities are linked with oligarchs to the max. Nothings changes there; one hand rubs another,” Zhigulin said.

Earlier reports said Leonid Kuchma was reappointed on May 3 as Kiev’s authorised representative to the Contact Group. He occupied this post from 2014 to 2018 when business tycoon Petr Poroshenko was Ukraine’s president. A new round of Donbass peace talks is due to take place in the Belarussian capital on June 5.*jk