Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelensky: Now is the time to reach agreement on ending the conflict in Donbas

Ukraine is ready to take the necessary decisions to end the war in Donbas during a new summit of the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany, said President Volodymyr Zelensky. The conflict in eastern Ukraine broke out nearly eight years ago, and ceasefire agreements are systematically broken.

“The time has come to objectively negotiate the end of the conflict and we are ready to make the necessary decisions at the new summit of the leaders of the four countries,” Zelenskiy said in a press release published by his press service.

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The head of the president’s office, Andriy Ermak, added that Ukraine wanted to reach an agreement on issues such as the imposition of a ceasefire and the exchange of prisoners.

Jermak emphasized that the next summit of the Normandy format, embracing Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia, 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.

After the overthrow of Yanukovych

The conflict in eastern Ukraine broke out after the victory of the pro-Western revolution that overthrew the pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych in the last days of February 2014. In response, Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea, and in spring, fights broke out in the Donbass against Moscow-led separatists who have occupied part of the region and control it to this day.

The ceasefire arrangements in the conflict zone have so far been systematically violated. The separatists also do not comply with the agreements contained in the peace treaty, using prohibited equipment to attack Ukrainian positions.

According to reports from the American intelligence and the authorities in Kiev, Russia has gathered tens of thousands of soldiers around the Ukrainian border and may be preparing a new offensive against Ukraine.

Main photo source: mil.gov.ua

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