On January 17, a press conference of Donbass leaders dedicated to the Pereyaslav Council anniversary was held in Simferopol in the multimedia press centre of MIA "Rossiya segodnya (Russia today)."
Alexander Zakharchenko noted that the Republics are grateful to the Crimea for the fact that it paved the way for the return to the bosom of the Russian world.
"It's iconic that this day is celebrated in the Crimea, because the consolidation of Kievan Rus began with the Crimea. The Crimea was the example for us that we have followed. I am confident that further consolidation of the Russian world will take place in Donetsk and Lugansk. I am happy to be in this day in the Crimea. Crimean support of Donbass was basic. When the war started in Donbass in 2014, people from the Crimea came to us to defend our country together," the Head of the DPR said.
The leader of the Donetsk People's Republic also suggested electing Chersonese as a place of a new treaty on the reunification of Ukraine and Russia's territories – a kind of analogue of the Treaty of Pereyaslav signed in 1654, if appropriate conditions will develop for this.
"In what city a new Treaty of Pereyaslav may be signed? The city doesn't really matter. It can be in done in Chersonese. Excellent location, a milestone. And in what borders of Ukraine? Three hundred-odd years ago it had other borders. During this time, much has changed. We underwent the World War I, the Great Patriotic war. If the next Pereyaslav Council will take place, I believe we should lay claim to the entire territory of Ukraine," the Head of the Donetsk People's Republic answered the question of the journalist.
At the same time, Alexander Zakharchenko emphasized that the DPR and the LPR to date continue fulfilling the Minsk agreements, despite the desire of the armed forces of the Republic to take the offensive and defeat the enemy.
"As long as there is Minsk, as long as there is the slightest possibility to solve the conflict peacefully, it is necessary to grab hold of it. Because this means thousands of lives, destroyed buildings, infrastructure and industry, which then will have to restore," Alexander Zakharchenko explained.
With regard to the impact the US on the end of the civil war, Alexander Zakharchenko noted that he does not harbour any illusions from the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.
"Trump is an American, and I think it is not necessary to build any illusions and castles in the air about his presidency. He is pragmatic, a businessman, and he will put the task of considering the interests of America before him in the first place. Only time will tell how they will influence our situation and the political situation in Ukraine," he said.
Russian journalists were also interested in the topic of the LDPR interaction with the people's deputy of Ukraine Nadezhda Savchenko. Alexander Zakharchenko had to dispel rumours about the story. The Head of the DPR noted that Savchenko did not come to Donbass, and the only meeting with her with the representatives of the Republics took place in Minsk.
"We have returned two women, have received 15 people. The purpose of the negotiations with Savchenko is the exchange of prisoners. The main brake is in Kiev, if the deputy conducts negotiations – we are ready to meet. There is a refinement of the lists at the moment, we continue working," the Head said.
He also reiterated his statement that the Republic is ready to guarantee security of Nadezhda Savchenko in case of her visit to Donbass, "We do not care with whom to negotiate, the main thing is their result. She succeeds, - our task is to bring the prisoners home."
Official translation by DONi News Agency