Ukrainian, French leaders discuss Ukraine’s peace process

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and French President Emmanuel Macron met to discuss the peace process aimed at resolving the crisis in and around Ukraine, Zelensky’s press service reported.

At the talks on Tuesday, the Ukrainian President voiced the hope that the next meeting of leaders of the Normandy Four, which includes Ukraine, France, Germany and Russia, may take place “in the near future”.

“An important step in this direction is the intensification of dialogue at the level of political advisers. We hope that the meeting in Paris, which took place on January 26, 2022, and the upcoming talks in Berlin will bring us closer to holding the Normandy Summit,” Zelensky was quoted as saying by his press service.

Kiev and Paris share a common vision of current threats and security challenges for Ukraine, Europe and the world at large, he said.

Meanwhile, Macron said that the Minsk agreements are a path to de-escalation and lasting peace in Ukraine, Xinhua news agency reported.

The French President held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. Macron said that during his talks with the Russian and Ukrainian leaders, both Kiev and Moscow expressed their readiness to implement the Minsk agreements.

The French President also announced that France will allocate 1.2 billion euros (nearly $1.37 billion) of macro-financial assistance for Kiev to help strengthen Ukraine’s economic stability.

Following the meeting of the two leaders, Ukraine and France signed a string of bilateral agreements in defense, transport, infrastructure, aviation and other sectors.

Macron arrived in Kiev earlier on Tuesday. His trip marked the first visit of the French President to Ukraine in 24 years.

Macron’s visit came amid the escalation of the tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

Since November, Kiev and some Western countries have accused Russia of assembling heavy troops near the Ukrainian border with a possible intention of “invasion”.

Russia denied the accusation, saying that it has the right to mobilise troops within its borders to defend its territory as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s activities constitute a threat to Russia’s border security.

The meeting of the advisors of the Normandy format will take place in Berlin on February 10.




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