Zelensky thanked Macron for supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and reforms in this country.
The Presidents of Ukraine and France held talks in Kyiv on Tuesday. Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Zelensky met in Kiev the next day after lengthy talks between the French president and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
Zelensky thanked Macron for supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and reforms in this country. The French President said that Paris supports Ukraine’s desire for freedom and democracy, as well as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
According to Macron, Zelensky confirmed to him that Ukraine is ready to implement the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the conflict in Donbas. He said Zelensky was behaving “coolly” in the face of the threat of a Russian invasion. Macron acknowledged that there are different approaches to the interpretation of the Minsk agreements, but called for concrete steps in order to find a common reading. According to Macron, political advisers of the Normandy Four countries are due to meet again in Berlin on February 10 – this will be the second meeting in 2 weeks. Zelensky expressed hope that the summit of the Normandy Four countries – Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France – will soon be held.
In response to a journalist’s request to comment on Vladimir Putin’s words addressed to Ukraine, “Like, dislike, bear with my beauty,” Zelensky said that Ukraine is really beautiful, but Putin should not call it “his,” “this is too much.” He also said that Ukraine is very patient, despite the escalation of the conflict by Russia.
After the negotiations, several agreements on cooperation between Ukraine and France were also signed – in particular, on the supply of hundreds of French locomotives for Ukrainian railways.
Macron called the Minsk agreements “the best protection” for Ukraine. The agreements were signed in 2015; they assume the return of the areas of Donbas not controlled by Ukraine under its control, but with a number of conditions. Russia believes that the agreements provide, in particular, the need for Ukraine to negotiate with Russian-backed separatists.
The talks are taking place against the backdrop of the buildup of the Russian armed group near the borders with Ukraine. Western countries fear that Russia may be preparing a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia denies this, accusing Ukraine itself of preparing provocations. In parallel with the buildup of the grouping, Russia has put forward demands for so-called security guarantees to the United States and NATO. At the talks between Macron and Putin, this was also discussed.