President Ukrainian President Volodymyr visited France, and President Emmanuel Macron met him as scheduled for a working lunch in the Elysee, according to reports.In addition to bilateral relations, the main issue was the deteriorating situation in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, where the Russian troops increase on the border.
The visit to France by Ukrainian President Viktor Zelensky had long been planned, the source said.But tensions on Ukraine’s eastern front and border have risen in recent weeks, putting Donbass at the top of the agenda.President Macron plans to hold a video conference with President Zelensky of Ukraine and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany after a working lunch.
Russian President Vladimir Poutine is now reluctant to talk directly to his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Zelensky. The French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are the intermediaries between the two sides. Paris believe Ukraine’s sovereignty as under threat, and the Elysee’s immediate goal is to avoid a deterioration of the event and alleviate the tense air.
A prominent Ukrainian political scientist in Kiev told a BBC’s reporter that he believes Zelensky expects President Macron to work with Chancellor Merkel to put pressure on President Putin to stop his aggression against Ukraine. Second, Mr. Zelensky wanted to touch on the future of the Donbass talks and the necessity to revive the Format de Normandie talks on Ukraine, or talks at the level of heads of state and government. For the process is in crisis. Moscow, in turn, had put intense pressure on the process, especially on the military level, and Mr. Putin had shown reservations about talking to Mr. Zelensky.
In Kiev, the news continues to be unsettling.The foreign minister Dmytro Kouleba said Russia was threatening to destroy Ukraine. A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman countered, calling on Paris and Berlin not to get involved in propaganda campaigns against non-threatening Russian troop movements.
Zelensky came to Paris first to seek political and diplomatic support from France.
He has been calling in recent weeks for a new summit of the Normandy Quartet on Ukraine. The last summit was held in Paris in December 2019.