President of Ukraine

Ukraine, Germany and France should have a consolidated position on Donbas peace plan: President

22 August 2021 - 16:32

Ukraine, Germany and France should have a consolidated position on Donbas peace plan: President

Ukraine is counting on Germany, which it considers a key ally in Europe, in the issue of a peaceful settlement in Donbas and the restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity. This was emphasized by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his statement for the media following the meeting with Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel in Kyiv.

"It is important that Ukraine, Germany and France have a consolidated position within the Normandy Four on the peace plan, which should be based on clusters. The Paris agenda, which must be implemented, remains relevant. We strive for a constant and sustainable ceasefire, exchange of detainees, opening of checkpoints by the temporarily occupied territories and long-awaited access to these territories for representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross," the President said.

He stressed that Ukraine's position on the need for a summit in the Normandy format is unchanged.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his conviction that as long as there is no progress in a peaceful settlement in Donbas, the pressure on Russia must be maintained. According to him, the Ukrainian party wants to see active efforts in this regard by its partners.

The President thanked Germany for its firm support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, for the peaceful settlement in Donbas, and for the non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.

For her part, Angela Merkel stated that the Normandy negotiation process is not moving as actively as we would like. In particular, the meetings of the Trilateral Contact Group do not take place in the desired mode, and the checkpoints on the touch line have not started operating.

"I would also like to hold another summit at the level of heads of state, at the highest political level, to invite the presidents of Ukraine, France and Russia. And if we can develop a good agenda, I think it's possible. President Zelenskyy is ready to support us here," she said.

Angela Merkel noted that Russia is a party to the conflict in Donbas. The Chancellor supported Ukraine's position on refusing to hold direct talks with separatists’ representatives.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy also noted that the risks and scale of threats to which Ukraine needs to respond remain high and require action. And Ukraine is counting on Germany, which it considers one of its key allies in Europe.

The Head of State noted that Angela Merkel's visit to Kyiv is very important on the eve of significant dates and events for Ukraine, especially the 30th anniversary of the restoration of independence and the launch of the Crimea Platform.

"I thank you for the fact that Germany supports our initiatives and will participate at a high level in the first summit of the Crimea Platform, which will take place on August 23," he said.

For her part, Angela Merkel stressed that the Crimea Platform summit is an important event. She stated that Germany considers the temporary occupation of Crimea by Russia a violation of international law, and this position remains unchanged.

"My visit takes place on the eve of the Crimea Platform summit so that I have the opportunity to discuss the issues of the Minsk agreements and the Normandy format. This is a farewell bilateral visit. Probably, I will not come as the Federal Chancellor anymore," she explained.

Angela Merkel said that at the Crimea Platform summit Germany will be represented by Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier, who has the same rank as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, who will not be able to participate in the summit due to the situation in Afghanistan.

During the meeting, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Angela Merkel exchanged views on the situation in this country.

"We are hopeful a comprehensive and lasting peace will be achieved there. Today, Ukraine not only actively evacuates its citizens, but also helps our allies in this," the President said, recalling that a plane had arrived in Kyiv today, evacuating 83 people from Afghanistan.

In conclusion, Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Angela Merkel for the strong support of Ukraine in key issues. As a sign of gratitude for the long-term support of our state, the President awarded the Chancellor of Germany with the Order of Freedom.

"In September, Germany will elect a new chancellor. Personally, I am convinced that Ms. Merkel will remain an active participant in the political life of Germany and Europe. But you should know that in any case, in any status and at any time you are and will always be a welcome guest in Ukraine. Thank you,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy summed up.