The peace process was one of the key issues in our talks today - Zelensky
World leaders continue to visit Ukraine amid the Russian threat. On February 8, French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Kyiv on a working visit. The key topic of negotiations between the Presidents of Ukraine and France, Volodymyr Zelensky and Emmanuel Macron, was the peace process related to the settlement of the situation in Donbas. Macron once again assured Zelensky of his support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and praised the Ukrainian president for his balance and composure while Russia has been building up troops near the Ukrainian border for months.
The head of the Ukrainian state announced it at a briefing following the meeting.
“My intention, with this I came to Moscow and Kyiv, is to restore the security order on the European continent”, - Macron said.
In his opinion, the path to de-escalation lies in the implementation by all parties of the Minsk agreements, as well as the creation of new security mechanisms.
“We have a hard task in the coming weeks – it is a broad dialogue on security issues that would create for all of us a new security-defence order that would be acceptable to everyone on the continent”, - Macron said.
Regarding the information in the French media that Russian President Vladimir Putin and the French President spoke about the “Finlandisation” of Ukraine, a form of neutrality, an idea that has been floated before, Macron denied that he had uttered the word either to journalists or political leaders.
He assured that the position of the West is to maintain an open-door policy in NATO, including for countries such as Finland.
The President of Ukraine also stated that he shares Macron’s views on the challenges for Ukraine and Europe. According to him, France allocates 1.2 billion euros of macro-financial assistance, however, without specifying the conditions.
Zelensky noted that the partnership between Ukraine and France is of particular importance. He recalled that Paris plays an important role in the Normandy format.
“The peace process was one of the key issues in our talks today. We expect that soon, according to the agreements reached during the Paris Summit in December 2019, we will be able to hold the next talks of the leaders of the Normandy Four”, - Zelensky said.
The French leader, in his turn, called Minsk “the best defence of Ukraine’s territorial integrity” and confirmed the meeting of political advisers of the Normandy format on February 10.
Before he visited Ukraine, Macron had visited Moscow, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Their talks lasted over five hours. At a joint press conference, Putin said he would consider “some proposals and ideas proposed by the French president” to de-escalate the situation around Ukraine, which could “lay the groundwork for further steps”.
The presidents of Russia and France noted that the future of unspecified proposals would depend on Macron’s meeting with Zelensky in Kyiv, as well as on France’s further contacts with NATO partners, the United States and Ukraine.