President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that he would like to hold a substantive summit of the leaders of the countries participating in Normandy format, which would end with concrete results and bring the end of the war in Donbas and the de-occupation of Ukrainian territories as close as possible. The head of state announced this during the YES Brainstorming event organized by the Yalta European Strategy in Kyiv.
Asked if his attitude towards Russian President Vladimir Putin has changed, Zelenskyy said that there is no time to think about it.
"I am more interested in whether we can really meet and have substantive discussions. Not declarative, as he does with some states, but really to meet and have more substantive dialogue than it was during the first meeting in the Normandy format," the President of Ukraine said.
The head of state said that after the Normandy Four summit in Paris in December 2019, certain results were achieved, in particular, Ukraine returned more than a hundred detained persons. However, most of the issues still remain unresolved.
"At that time we talked about demining and the opening of checkpoints, but not everything is moving forward as quickly as I would like, and, it seems to me, Russia does not want to. They do not see the point in this – to resolve the issue and quickly end the war. And these are my problems – what I can do, how I need to make them have a desire to substantively talk about the de-occupation of our territories, because simply by saying, intimidating, shouting or threatening we will not achieve anything. I need a result," he said.
Zelenskyy suggested that if a new meeting of the leaders of the Normandy format countries takes place, one can hope for the return of a certain number of detained persons.
"I don't believe in "all for all" [prisoner swap]. Everything that we agree on, Russia never fully implements. However, if the meeting is held, some kind of result will be seen: 100 people, 50 people, two people – and we will have some people released," the President added.
Also, the issue of opening the checkpoints on the contact line by the forces on the occupied territories of Donbas should be also discussed.
At the same time, the head of state said that there is still a likelihood of a full-scale military aggression of Russia against Ukraine, but he believes that this will be the biggest mistake of the Russian Federation, because after that it will be difficult to imagine good neighborly relations between the countries.
Zelenskyy believes that sooner or later the status quo will be restored, Ukraine will return its temporarily occupied territories and its people, and, maybe, over time, relations between the two countries will also be restored.