Berlin: Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk said that Kiev had “high hopes” for the upcoming meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart, Joe Biden, in Geneva on June 16, and Kiev is “very happy” that the topic of Ukraine is among the issues expected to be discussed during the summit.
The White House said that Biden was set to discuss strategic stability, Ukraine and Belarus at the meeting with Putin. According to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he wanted to hold a telephone conversation with Biden before the latter’s meeting with Putin.
“We are very happy that the topic of Ukraine occupies an important place on the agenda [of the upcoming summit]. Although I must say, it seems strange when they talk about us, but not with us. But we already know that the Americans will take our side in Geneva. And we really have high hopes for the summit,” Melnyk said in an interview with the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung.
The ambassador noted that the “reconciliation” between Russia and Ukraine was possible on several conditions.
“First, Russia must disappear from Donbas and return the Crimea. It is necessary to restore the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine,” he stressed, adding that Moscow should “pay reparations” and “officially apologize” to Kiev.
Russia’s relations with Ukraine and the West deteriorated after the eruption of the crisis in eastern Ukraine in 2014 and Crimea’s reunification with Russia as the result of a referendum. The move was recognized neither by Kiev nor by the majority of Western countries. Russia has repeatedly said that the referendum was conducted by Crimea in compliance with international law. In April 2014, Kiev launched a military operation against self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in its eastern region of Donbas after they refused to recognize the new government due to legitimacy concerns.