President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the Minsk agreements, which were signed in 2015, are “barely alive” and expressed hope that the process of resolving the conflict in Donbass will be intensified through meetings with his colleagues Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin. He spoke about this on Thursday, June 24, in an interview with the “VIP with Natalia Moseichuk” program on the “1 + 1” TV channel.
“What was signed in 2015, I believe that it is barely alive … that this is the only document or the only agenda (agenda – Ed.) Is true. You don’t need to close it, but you need to open another agenda. I believe that a meeting with the President of Russia and a meeting with the President of the United States can provide a different agenda for addressing these issues. Well, in any case, we need to try, ”the Ukrainian leader believes.
On June 18, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov said that Kiev considered the Minsk agreements impracticable.
On June 17, Zelenskiy switched to Russian during a conversation with foreign journalists, talking about Donbass and the possibility of a personal meeting with Putin. According to him, at a meeting with the Russian leader, the only and most important topic can be discussed – the conflict in Donbass.
On June 16, Russian President Vladimir Putin at a press conference following a meeting with American leader Joe Biden noted that Russia’s only obligation to Ukraine is to facilitate the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
On June 11, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba announced that a meeting between the presidents of Ukraine and the United States is planned for late July in Washington. According to him, this will be Zelensky’s official visit to the United States, and stressed that a large delegation from Ukraine is planned to arrive during the visit. A broad negotiating agenda has also been outlined.
In May, Zelensky announced the need to create a new format for negotiations to resolve the situation in the country. In his opinion, it is not only the conflict in Donbass that needs to be discussed. On the same day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow called on Brussels to increase its influence on Kiev in order to achieve the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
The armed conflict in Donbass began in 2014 after a coup in Ukraine and continues to this day. Residents of the region refused to recognize the new government and announced the creation of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR). In response, Kiev launched the so-called anti-terrorist operation (ATO), four years later changing its name to the Joint Forces Operation (JF).
In 2015, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France agreed on a set of measures to implement the Minsk agreements of September 19, 2014. The document provides for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons by the parties to the conflict from the line of contact, Kiev’s constitutional reform and dialogue with representatives of the DPR and LPR on holding elections in the territories of the self-proclaimed republics.