Ukraine's Deputy PM Kuleba: One-on-one meeting with Putin to be held only for Ukraine's interests
Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Dmytro Kuleba has said the need for dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin "may arise very spontaneously" during the Normandy Four summit and a one-on-one meeting with him will be held only for the interests of Ukraine.
"By the way, remember Minsk. How were the negotiations held in 2015? How different formats changed. This was not planned in advance. But if it is necessary to hold such a meeting to protect the interests of Ukraine, it will be held. If it gives the opportunity to take a step forward. At the same time, we will not allow any attempt to split us and our partners," Kuleba told a Svoboda Slova [Freedom of Speech] panel show on Ukraine's ICTV channel on December 2, 2019.
"The Normandy summit is a pretty flexible format, which provides for the departure from protocol. We will not do one thing in the Normandy format – we will not allow our colleagues from the Russian Federation to create any impression that President Zelensky is agreeing on something with Putin behind the backs of our allies, as well as behind the backs of the Ukrainian people," he said.
According to Kuleba, the Ukrainian side does not know how the Normandy summit will be held and what to expect from it, "because the grandmasters will be sitting at the table."
The leaders of the Normandy Four states – Ukraine, France, Germany, and Russia – are scheduled to meet in Paris, France, on December 9.