Zelensky: New Donbas ceasefire deal awaits signing by all Normandy Four leaders
President Volodymyr Zelensky noted that an agreement on a complete and comprehensive ceasefire on the delimitation line in Donbas should be signed by the leaders of the Normandy Four on July 27, which will raise the deal's status and increase chances of parties adhering to the agreements reached.
"We really have a lot of professionals who are in constant negotiations in the format of a TCG [Trilateral Contact Group] meeting and who have agreed on a very serious step for our whole country – a permanent ceasefire. This document is now awaiting the signing by all parties to the Normandy Group. I believe that all parties – Ukraine, France, Germany and Russia – will sign it, and from the 27th, I believe the time may come when there will be a permanent ceasefire," Volodymyr Zelensky told journalists during a visit to the Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint as part of the working trip to Donbas, his Office reported.
The president has noted that the agreement will be signed by all leaders of the Normandy Four, which raises its status.
The president thanked Ukraine's delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group and other officials involved for their efforts toward bringing peace back to Donbas. Also, the president also thanked the OSCE for the "difficult and important work" within the TCG.
At the same time, Volodymyr Zelensky stressed that the agreements reached do not deprive the Ukrainian military of the opportunity to engage in self-defense.
For his part, Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran added that Article 51 of the UN Charter talks about the right to defense. At the same time, he stressed that Ukraine has the political will toward a permanent ceasefire, and expressed hope that "the other side" will also be able to demonstrate this.
The president has noted that Ukraine is fulfilling its part of the Minsk agreements, and that the whole world sees it. "The other party must also demonstrate willingness to comply with them," Zelensky said.
The details of the agreements reached will be worked out separately by the TCG within the Minsk format.
"This is a generalized statement; we should just work on this statement in detail within the Minsk format – there is such an agreement. In the Minsk format, everything should be elaborated: all responsible persons, when and how the information shall be transmitted. So this will be a separate story, it's very long," the head of state said.
"We want to decipher each point of 'Minsk'. Then we will see whether we are able to do it or not, how we will do it, and who will be responsible," Zelensky said.