Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is convinced that without engaging directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, it will never be possible to end the war in Donbas and get all temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories back.

The statement came in an interview with Politico, the President's Office reports.

"I'm sure that we'll never stop the war if we don't speak with Russia. A separate case is the support of our Western partners. But if we don't talk with President Putin, we won't be able to fully restore Ukraine, get all our territories back," Zelensky said.

At the same time, certain media outlets "are doing everything to disrupt any opportunities for dialogue, even within the framework of the Normandy format or the Minsk process," the President's Office reported.

Read alsoZelensky ahead of summit: Ukraine's course toward EU unchanged"This applies precisely to those media that belong either to large financial structures or politicians who were in power, holding senior positions before me. They all have their media outlets. They own them – unfortunately. Although we never give up and believe that no matter what, on the issue of ending the war, we will be moving forward, talking with partners and with Russia in order to get our people and territories back," Zelensky added.

Zelensky's talks with Putin

The last time the two presidents spoke over phone was July 26 when leaders discussed the implementation of the agreements reached at the Normandy Summit (Ukraine, Germany, France, and Russia) in Paris on December 9, 2019.

Minsk Agreements: Background

  • A package of measures meant to stop fighting in Donbas, called Minsk II, was agreed to on February 12, 2015. It was developed at a summit in Minsk on February 11, 2015, by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany. The talks that led to the deal were overseen by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, as per Wikipedia.
  • Not a single provision of the Minsk deal had been fully implemented.
  • Among other things, the agreements reached by the Normandy Four provide for a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine and the withdrawal of all heavy weapons from Ukrainian territory. It also provides for the exchange and release of all held persons, as well as the holding of local elections in Donbas.
  • Leonid Kravchuk, head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas settlement, is convinced that the Minsk agreements cannot be implemented due to the different positions pursued by Ukraine and Russia.