Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that during his second phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two agreed to meet in person as part of the negotiations in the Normandy format.
"The second conversation took place after our men were killed in Donbas. During the first conversation, we agreed on a ceasefire. The second conversation was an emergency. I said, 'We agreed on a cease-fire, but this doesn’t happen.' There was an exchange of information about more precise steps to return our men, and it's not just the sailors," the president told a "Ukrainian President's 100 days” show on 1+1 TV Channel.
Zelensky noted that his second conversation with Putin was more detailed than the first one.
"I understand that resolving all issues at once – Donbas and Crimea – is very, very difficult, and there will be no progress in this. I know that everything needs to be resolved step by step, with specific deadlines. We talked this over and agreed that we would continue for the third time – this will be our personal meeting [with Putin] in the Normandy format," the head of state emphasized.
According to Zelensky, to advance in the Minsk process on Donbas settlement, it is necessary to hold a meeting in the Normandy format at the highest level.
"Our side has planned it [the meeting in the Normandy format]. Honestly, he told me that there used to be such a relationship that any meetings were off the table, but in order to make decisions in the Minsk format, the Normandy Four leaders must meet. I think that only by looking each other in the eyes, in the presence of Western leaders, will we be able to agree and sign papers, which is most important,” Zelensky said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on July 11, 2019, Zelensky held his first phone conversation with Putin.
On Aug 7, following a deadly shelling by invaders in Donbas, which killed six Ukrainian troops, the president of Ukraine once again talked with Putin over the phone.
The G7 Leaders' Declaration following their summit in France on Aug 24-26 reported that French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel would organize a Normandy Four summit in the coming weeks.
On Aug 30, the President's Office in Kyiv announced that foreign policy advisers to the leaders of the Ukraine, Germany, France, and the Russian Federation would hold a meeting in Berlin on Sept 2, to organize the summit in the Normandy Four.