News in English

2019.11.27 14:36

Ukrainian president in Vilnius: I want to know when ‘we can stop this war’

Saulius Jakučionis, BNS2019.11.27 14:36

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in Vilnius he did not expect great victories from upcoming peace talks in Paris, while his Lithuanian host, President Gitanas Nausėda, noted that Kyiv should not make unjustified concessions to Russia.

The Ukrainian, Russian, German and French leaders are due to meet in Paris on December 9 for a new round of Donbass peace talks.

“We wished [the Ukrainians] success in holding talks with a fairly strong negotiating partner, not to make concessions that would not be justified,” the Lithuanian president said during his joint press conference with the Ukrainian counterpart on Wednesday.

He said Russia was also expected to make concessions, as “only then could it be called negotiations”.

Nausėda also said he hoped the negotiations would help reduce tensions in the region, restore Ukraine's territorial integrity and “let Ukraine and Russia cooperate as equals”.

Zelensky said he did not expect big victories from the upcoming meeting in Paris or a quick end to the war in Ukraine's eastern regions.

“I want a clear understanding as the president of Ukraine, a country at war, as to when and how we can actually stop this war,” he said.

The Ukrainian president has not yet confirmed media reports that he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Paris, saying he would meet leaders of Russia, Germany and France separately, if necessary.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine between the government forces and Moscow-supported separatists started in 2014 and has already claimed over 13,000 lives.

Unrest in eastern Ukraine followed Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. Earlier, mass protests forced Ukraine's pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovuch to flee the country after he refused to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union.