REUTERS

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine believes his potential meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin should take place either in eastern Ukraine's Donbas or on neutral territory.

The statement came during Volodymyr Zelensky's big press conference he delivered on Thursday, May 20, an UNIAN correspondent reports.

The head of state recalled that he had invited Putin to meet anywhere within the Donbas region.

"And the president of the Russian Federation, you heard, proposed that we meet in Moscow. But traditionally in such situations, such meetings are held either in one of the conflict sites, or on neutral territory. Frankly, the Office of the President of Ukraine and that of the Russian Federation are now in contact," Zelensky stressed.

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  • 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.