"My expectations are optimistic. Next year, Ukraine will return the Donbas," he wrote in an opinion article for Novoie Vremia, Censor.NET reports.
Tuka says Russia is currently ready to surrender the Donbas on its own conditions.
However, I am certain Ukraine will be able to take over the initiative and implement its own scenario of returning the occupied territories. I really hope this will happen next year, in the middle of 2018 the latest," the deputy minister wrote.
He stressed it's important for Ukraine to retain the support of Europe and the United States.
According to Tuka, there are numerous facts confirming the Kremlin's readiness to surrender the Donbas. He believes the Russian Federation does not see these territories as part of Russia.
The deputy minister compared the activities of the Russian occupants in Crimea and the Donbas.
"We see massive looting in the Donbas, destruction of enterprises. They are dooming the region to economic death. You won't see that in Crimea. The Russian authorities are forcing large private companies to invest in Crimean businesses and facilities. This is the big difference," Tuka believes.
"I am an optimist. I am really hopeful that we will finally see peace, and return the Donbas and Crimea. I think we should focus on the following aspects: fighting inner populism, efficient fight with corruption, military solution of the conflict. In this very order," Tuka wrote.
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