Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenko said in an interview with Italian media that the Vatican would be the “ideal place” for him to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to defuse the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov 28, responded that the Russian side has not received any official proposals about the meeting of Russian and Ukrainian heads of state at the Vatican, and the two heads of state meeting can not resolve the conflict between Ukraine and East Ukraine, because Russia is not involved in the conflict.
“Ukraine chose a good location?”
Italian newspaper La Repubblica published an interview with Zelensky on the 28th. Asked by reporters whether Rome or the Vatican would be the venue for the meeting of the heads of state of Russia, Mr Zelensky replied: “From all angles, the Vatican is probably the best place.” ”
Zelensky predicted that the meeting of heads of state is expected to allow the two sides to find a solution to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
A Vatican source later confirmed to Russia’s satellite news agency that the Vatican would not be able to refuse if both governments asked the Vatican for help.
The satellite news agency quoted Zelensky as saying earlier that everything was moving in the direction of his meeting with Putin, “the time and place is a matter of detail.” He has arranged a meeting.” The satellite news agency quoted Ukraine’s presidential adviser Alexi Alestovich as saying that Zelenko and Putin may talk about amending the Minsk agreement during their meeting.
In April 2014, large-scale clashes broke out between Ukrainian government forces and civilian forces in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. With the mediation of the international community, the two parties to the conflict reached ceasefire agreements in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, in September 2014 and February 2015, after which large-scale armed clashes were brought under control and small-scale exchanges of fire occurred. In July 2020, the tripartite contact group on Ukraine (Ukraine, Russia, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) held a videoconference with representatives of civilian armed forces in the Donbass region, where the parties agreed on a comprehensive ceasefire.
Since the end of February this year, there has been an increase in crossfire and casualties in the Donbass area. Ukrainian government forces and civilian forces accuse each other of breaking the ceasefire agreement.
Russian side splashes cold water
Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday that the Kremlin has not received a formal offer from the Ukrainian president to meet with Putin at the Vatican.
He stressed that the situation in Ukraine cannot be resolved by both the Ukrainian and Russian governments, because Russia is not a participant in the conflict in Ukraine at all. “There is no need to discuss the Donbass issue with us, which should be resolved through the Minsk framework.”
Peskov said it was unclear whether Putin was ready to travel to another country to meet with Zelensky. “Putin has said that if he wants to talk about bilateral (Russian-Ukrainian) relations, he wants to see Zelensky in Moscow.”
Russia recently ended military exercises on the Russian-Ukrainian border and crimea region, participating troops began to withdraw from the base on the 23rd. Ukraine welcomes Russia’s decision to withdraw its troops.
Ukraine and some Western countries have previously alleged that Russia’s build-up of troops in the border areas has led to a warming of the situation in eastern Ukraine, while Russia has stressed that the troop build-up is to ensure the security of its borders.