Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's spokeswoman Yulia Mendel says that no decisions on Ukraine could or would be made without Kyiv's participation.
She said this in a comment for the Ukrayinska Pravda online newspaper on recent talks between French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, which were held without Zelensky's participation.
While announcing the talks in late March, Putin described them as "an event of the Normandy Four," which suggests the involvement of all the leaders of the four countries – Russia, France, Germany, and Ukraine.
Read alsoMacron, Merkel call on Russia to stabilize ceasefire in DonbasDuring the recent videoconference call with Merkel and Macron, Putin accused Ukraine of escalation in Donbas. Mendel, in turn, said leaders of other countries might discuss and express their position on the situation in a particular region or in a particular country.
"Just as the leaders of France, Germany and the Russian Federation discussed a broad agenda, including the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the situation in the Middle East, relations between the European Union and Russia, they mentioned, among other things, the situation in Donbas. The President's Office believes it would be strange if the war in Donbas fell out of the international agenda, especially in negotiations where the Russian side is present," Mendel said.
The spokeswoman assured Kyiv continues negotiations with all the countries of the Normandy format at different levels. At the same time, Mendel praised "warm relations" with Berlin and Paris, saying their unequivocal stance on Crimea and Donbas is "very valuable to Ukraine."
Escalation in Donbas: Shelling near Shumy on March 26
- On March 26, 2021, four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and another two were wounded in enemy shelling near the village of Shumy in Donbas, eastern Ukraine.
- The Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group called for an emergency internal meeting. Zelensky also announced negotiations involving Normandy Four leaders, including the Russian president.