President of Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelenskyy: If we move towards peace in Donbas, the first task is to observe "silence", and this decision is supported at the level of advisors to the leaders of the "Normandy Four"

12 September 2020 - 17:39

Volodymyr Zelenskyy: If we move towards peace in Donbas, the first task is to observe

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy informed that after several rounds of talks at the level of advisors to the leaders of the countries participating in the Normandy format, a summit will be prepared.

"Meetings in the Normandy format are continued. If the advisors meet - and I already know the result - then a meeting of the leaders of the Normandy format will be planned," the President said during a conversation with the media in the Odesa region.

According to the President, the delegations of the "Normandy Four" at the talks on Friday, September 11, did not put an end to many issues. Therefore, there will be another meeting at the level of advisors to the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France.

"The most important decision today is the observance and continuation of the regime of silence. Am I one hundred percent satisfied? No. Did we have a combat loss? Yes. But if we are moving towards the implementation of the Minsk agreements, if we are moving towards peace in the east of our country, the first and foremost issue is the observance of the regime of silence. This means that our men will not be killed," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.

He noted that such a long ceasefire in Donbas has been unprecedented in all years of war.

For his part, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak emphasized that the Ukrainian delegation had returned from the talks with the main result - unequivocal support for the ceasefire from all participants in the Normandy format.

"The silence will be continued, despite the attempts to break it. And there have been such attempts, and we admit it. Unfortunately, the ceasefire is unacceptable not only to our enemies from outside. Not everyone needs peace inside the country as well," Andriy Yermak added.

He reminded that the decision on the ceasefire was made in the framework of the Minsk process, and now this decision received support from the representatives of the "Normandy Four" countries.

"As the President said, this is the longest ceasefire throughout the war. This is very important for us," the Head of the President's Office emphasized.

Andriy Yermak also noted that for the first time in recent years, OSCE representatives in the Trilateral Contact Group - Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and the TCG Heidi Grau and Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Yaşar Halit Çevik had been present at that meeting at the level of advisors.

"This means the interaction and coordinated work of the two formats (Minsk and Normandy negotiation formats - ed.) reached an even higher level. And we expect concrete results from this in the coming week - on September 15, when a video conference of the TCG will take place," the Head of the President's Office said.

He also said that an agreement had been reached that by the end of this month, representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross would have unimpeded access to Ukrainian citizens in uncontrolled territories.

"We expect that this will greatly speed up the process of return of our citizens. You know that we have such a task from the President, and this is our priority," Andriy Yermak stressed.

The Head of the President's Office noted that the teams of advisors would start working on the preparation of the next meeting, which is to take place in a few weeks, as early as Monday.