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Zelensky's presentation of plan for Ukraine's transformation in United States is his political mistake – political scientist

KYIV. Sept 3 (Interfax-Ukraine) – President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky made a political mistake by presenting a plan for the transformation of Ukraine during a working visit to the United States, Director of the Ukrainian Barometer sociological service Viktor Nebozhenko said.

"This is a colossal political mistake of the president. He does not trust the Ukrainians, the Ukrainians do not trust the president. He is bringing the sale plan to the United States, but he does not say how it is connected with Ukraine itself. This is very bad," Nebozhenko said at the roundtable conference entitled "Start of autumn political battles. What can society expect as a result of them?" hosted by Interfax-Ukraine on Friday.

He said the plan for the transformation of Ukraine should be presented by the president, if not at a secret meeting of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), then at least before the people.

"Instead, he secretly brought from these 73% [voters], who supported him, a plan of rescue, transformation of Ukraine into the United States. It turns out that this was not a plan, but a list of proposals for 270 billion. These are peddlers, people who counted everything where you can make money and offered America. Did you notice the shock of the American business community? Americans did not believe in their happiness and decided not to print money for this plan," Nebozhenko said.

In turn, political expert Kostiantyn Matviyenko also drew attention to the fact that "in fact it looks like Ukraine is being put up for sale."

"What is the positive moment here? The world is globalizing, we need new technologies, new financial instruments, and participation in new global world projects. What is the disadvantage here? That in these global world projects we are not expected as equal partners or at least partners. We need a productive Ukrainian land, because there is a shortage of food in the world, Ukrainian resources are needed, including a geopolitical, geostrategic resource, and Ukraine is ready to use, if the card goes like that, if the circumstances are so, as a mechanism to contain Russia," he said.

Director of the Institute for Global Strategies Vadym Karasiov said the plan for the transformation of Ukraine should first be discussed by experts, politicians and deputies in Ukraine. "The question here is: who gave such a mandate for the transformation plan, why was it not discussed by the expert community, politicians, in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine? This should be a public event, there should be a discussion. And so I have suspicions that this is the fruit of the creativity of the circle in the President’s Office. Perhaps this was strengthened by Kyiv School of Economics and Mylovanov [Advisor to the Head of the President’s Office]," he said.

Nebozhenko drew attention to the fact that before meeting with Joe Biden, President Volodymyr Zelensky had a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, "the author of the Minsk agreements, the Minsk negotiation process, the motor of the Normandy format," but the president did not give her a list of 450 Ukrainian prisoners of war, which indicates an attempt search for a new format that should replace the Minsk and Normandy formats.

"The most piquant thing is that President Biden took it [list of 450 prisoners]. That is, we are talking about, maybe Zelensky simply does not understand this, about the end of the Normandy format, because the United States is entering its old game: human rights, protection security of people, and somewhere the department that will protect the pro-American Afghans, and the department that will deal with the release of these 450 prisoners in the State Department will be combined," he said.

Head of the Ukrainian Politics Foundation/UP Foundation, historian, political scientist Kost Bondarenko believes that the visit brought neither achievements nor losses for Ukraine. "There was no super reception that [Viktor] Yuschenko or [Petro] Poroshenko organized in Washington, but the very fact of the meeting was important for Zelensky. Even if it was really just to come to the White House and take a picture with Biden, it would be a huge success for him, that’s why he was driving. Everything else is just an external environment," he said.

The expert also believes that the President’s Office is looking for an excuse to withdraw from the Minsk process.

"No matter how much they say that we will continue to fulfill the Minsk agreements, in fact, a draft law on a transitional period has been submitted to the Verkhovna Rada, which completely negates the Minsk agreements, a bill on denunciation of the Minsk agreements, in fact," Bondarenko said.