Zelenskiy and the head of his office, Andriy Yermak, met in Kiev with advisers to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, who previously visited Moscow. This is a continuation of the dialogue within the Normandy format, including Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia, emphasizes Zelensky’s press office.
“The time has come to objectively negotiate the end of the conflict and we are ready to make the necessary decisions during the new summit of the leaders of the four countries (the Normandy Four),” said the Ukrainian president, quoted on Tuesday by his press office.
During the meeting, among others, on the current security situation and on steps towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict and de-escalation at the borders between Russia and Ukraine. Jermak emphasized that the next summit of the Normandy format would be a strong impetus for the peace process.
The last meeting of the leaders of the Normandy Four took place in December 2019 in Paris. It was then planned that further talks in this format would be held within four months. However, negotiations have not resumed so far.
The declaration of the President of Ukraine may be related to the current situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border. Russia maintains a large group of troops near the border with Ukraine, estimated by The New York Times at around 100,000. soldiers. “NYT” adds that the transfer of military helicopters to the border area is also noticed.
The United States, the European Union and NATO urge Russia to de-escalate and refrain from aggression. At the same time, however, the US and NATO rejected Russia’s demands for “security guarantees”, which assumed the withdrawal of the Alliance’s troops from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as refraining from admitting Ukraine to NATO. At the beginning of the week, US-Russia talks were held as part of the strategic stability dialogue, talks of the NATO-Russia council and talks at the OSCE forum are also planned.