A possible future meeting of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with Russian President Vladimir Putin will be complicated, said Leonid Kuchma, the second president of Ukraine, ex-head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG).
“Everything is possible in life. The main thing is the desire of our president … We will be waiting for a signal from the other side. But this meeting is too complicated from all points of view. It seems to me that I could be wrong – the conversation will be in different languages,” Kuchma said in an interview with journalists at the YES Brainstorming forum.
According to him, it is not yet clear whether Putin is ready to meet in the framework of problems that now exist in Ukrainian-Russian relations and to take “specific steps.”
Kuchma added that the big question is whether it is worth “just going nowhere and coming with nothing.”
YES Brainstorming is a new format event for the Yalta European Strategy (YES) in partnership with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation. The topic of the meeting is entitled “After COVID Means Before the Disaster? Steps to Survival.”
The annual meetings of the Yalta European Strategy, a public organization that would facilitate the process of Ukraine’s accession to the EU, have been held since 2004 at the initiative of Victor Pinchuk. YES meetings have become an open platform for discussing new ideas and views on the development paths of Europe, Ukraine and the whole world.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky looks forward to a substantive and productive meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on August 30 to discuss important issues of strategic partnership between Ukraine and the United States.
“Look forward to a substantive and productive meeting with President Biden on August 30. The United States is our top strategic partner. We will have frank and vibrant discussion regarding serious security threat Nord Stream 2 poses to Ukraine, peace in Donbas, return of Crimea and the economic development challenges Ukraine faces,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Earlier on Wednesday, the White House said that Biden will meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Zelensky in Washington on August 30.
Some 67.1% of Ukrainians are confident that a personal meeting between President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and President of Russia Vladimir Putin will contribute to resolving the situation in Donbas, according to a sociological survey conducted by the Social Monitoring Center from June 29 to July 9 and presented at the Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Wednesday.
At the same time, 30.3% of respondents are sure that the meeting of Zelensky and Putin will not contribute to the restoration of peace in Ukraine, the return of Donbas and the establishment of good-neighborly relations with Russia, and 2.6% found it difficult to answer.
At the same time, 49.3% of respondents believe that Zelensky should hold a personal meeting with representatives of the self-proclaimed republics in order to return Donbas and peace to Ukraine, 41.1% expressed doubts about the effectiveness of such a meeting, and 9.6% found it difficult to answer.
Also, 51% of Ukrainians believe that the implementation of the Minsk Agreements on the settlement of the conflict in Donbas is in the interests of Ukraine, 39.6% are against such a statement, and 9.4% refused to answer.
The sociological survey was carried out throughout Ukraine, with the exception of the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, among people over 18 years old by the method of personal interviews at the place of residence of the respondents. The sample is 3,011 respondents.
The meeting between the presidents of the United States of America and the Russian Federation is important primarily for the system of collective world security, said Serhiy Rakhmanin, member of the Holos faction, representative of the parliamentary committee on national security, defense and intelligence.
“It is good that this meeting took place, and this is important primarily for the system of collective world security. Russia and the United States are obvious antagonists who possess nuclear weapons, and therefore Biden’s logic was that given that they are enemies, then they should negotiate as enemies. In fact, Biden, as a representative of the old school, is a supporter of the relationship with Russia to be something similar to the relationship of the United States and the Soviet Union, which were enemies, but logical and predictable enemies. What worried the current head of the American administration is that Russia is an unpredictable enemy, and he wants, let’s say, to drive Russian-American relations into a certain framework,” Rakhmanin said in a comment to Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.
At the same time, he called the expectations of this meeting in Ukraine excessive due to the fact that “some conditionally breakthrough moments were supposed to take place there, which concerned the further fate of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, in particular in the east of Ukraine – in Donetsk and Luhansk areas.”
“As far as it is possible to analyze the available information, the parties touched on this topic quickly, and no one, in fact, was going to focus on it. Because both for the Americans, and unfortunately for us, this is not a priority topic. Ukraine could not, unfortunately, be the subject of a long conversation,” said the parliamentarian.
Rakhmanin also believes that regarding this issue, the parties to the negotiations do not have any proposals that could be considered or dwelled on.
“The only point that, as I understand it, interested Putin, is how much the United States, the new American administration, are ready to intervene more actively in this process and in one form or another enter the Minsk format, whether America questions what was achieved in Minsk. Russia received an answer that, in principle, was predictable: the Americans do not intend to enter the Minsk format and do not question the political agreements reached,” said the member of the Holos faction.
In his opinion, the development of the situation in the east of Ukraine will depend on how further relations between Russia and the United States will develop.
At the same time, Rakhmanin emphasized that Russia had chosen a very convenient model of behavior in relation to the settlement of this situation: “They do not consider themselves a participant in the negotiations, a party to the conflict – they have invented a certain function of peacekeepers for themselves, therefore the corresponding thesis [that Russia does not have any additional obligations concerning Ukraine, except for “assistance” in the implementation of the Minsk agreements], they constantly repeat this narrative in one form or another, which is absolutely expected.”
In addition, Rakhmanin associates the indirect touch on the topic of Ukraine’s accession to NATO at the summit of the presidents of Russia and the United States with the fact that Russia has not yet worked out its position on this, since it hoped that “even the phrase “Membership Action Plan (MAP)” will be remembered next to the word “Ukraine” in the final communiqué of the NATO Summit.”
“Putin avoided too harsh statements about America in this context, precisely because he was also interested in establishing a more or less conditional constructiveness in his conversation with Biden. They both need this conversation. These are states with completely different interests and, of course, with different attitudes to Ukraine, but both of them needed this meeting. But in fact it was an agreement that it is necessary to come to an agreement,” the politician added.
As reported, the summit between U.S. President Joseph Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin took place in Geneva on June 16.
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The United States expects a meeting of U.S. President Donald Trump with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in Warsaw, where a ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II will be held on September 1, Assistant to the U.S. President for National Security Affairs John Bolton has said.
He expressed his expectations about the meeting of the two presidents in Warsaw and said they would work on its organization in the coming days.
A group of Members of Parliament in charge of preparations for the first meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of the 9th convocation has decided to hold such a meeting on August 29. “Our political force proposes holding the first meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of the 9th convocation on August 29,” MP from the Servant of the People Party Dmytro Razumkov, who was tapped to head the group, said at a meeting on Friday.
He put the motion to the vote, and most members of the group supported it.