The President's Office intends to include "difficult issues" in the agenda of the summit of President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
That's according to Mykhailo Podolyak, the adviser to the head of the President's Office, who spoke with Ukraine 24 TV, an UNIAN correspondent reports.
Preparations are now underway at the level of administration chiefs, the official added.
"Andriy Yermak is actively promoting this issue of a bilateral summit. But, in my opinion, the question is not about when the summit will take place, the question is whether we are able to put on the agenda of this summit a number of difficult issues that need to be addressed, the ones that for seven years have not been resolved, that have accumulated – because all these issues create a very negative situation around bilateral relations, and this is not only about war, but also bad economic relations, bad political relations, and practically the lack of any direct communication at the level of any chairs of state agencies , that is, we practically have no contact," Podolyak said.
He noted that negotiations between the presidents of Ukraine and Russia should be held in one of the third countries.
"In a country which is trusted on the one hand, and which takes a neutral position on the other hand... It can be any location, for example, there were mentions of the Vatican in the media, or, perhaps, Jerusalem, but against the background of what's happening today in the Middle East in the relations between Palestine and Israel, there are already difficulties in this regard, of course. This can be any other country with a neutral approach to assessing the situation," Podolyak said.
Read alsoWhat Ukraine should expect from Biden-Putin summitAt the same time, according to the official, the situation with MP Viktor Medvedchuk who has been charged with high treason cannot affect the development of bilateral relations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
"I would generally put all these speculative topics somewhere to the fringe. We don't need them. If we say Russia is equal to Medvedchuk, we're kind of humiliating the Russian Federation," Podolyak said.
Zelensky-Putin summit prospects: Background
In a televised address on April 20, 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invited his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to hold talks in Donbas.
On April 22, 2021, Putin responded to the invitation by suggesting that Zelensky could discuss the Donbas issue with the "leaders" of the two self-proclaimed republics, the "LPR/DPR," adding that Moscow remained open for contact on any other issues.
On April 26, 2021, Zelensky instructed Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak to arrange a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "It seems to me everything leads to the fact this meeting will take place," he said.
Speaking in an interview for the Italian newspaper la Repubblica, Zelensky said he would definitely meet Putin and the Vatican City could be a venue for this meeting. Zelensky also suggested his direct negotiations with Putin could prevent further escalation of Russian aggression.
On May 13, head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak says the implementation of the agreements reached at the Normandy Four summit in Paris could be analyzed during a possible meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
Speaking at a big press conference in Kyiv on May 20, President Zelensky said he believes the potential summit should take place either in eastern Ukraine's Donbas or on neutral territory.