Zelensky suggests meeting with Putin in Minsk

Mon 08 Jul 2019 12:43 GMT | 16:43 Local Time

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Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has suggested meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Minsk and that the encounter should be brokered by mediation from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France, TASS reported.

"I want to address Russian President Vladimir Putin. Do we need to talk? Yes, we do. Let’s discuss who owns Crimea and who is not present in Donbass," Zelensky said in a video address posted on his Facebook page.

The Ukrainian leader also suggested that the talks should be mediated by US President Donald Trump, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Speaking on the venue of this meeting, Zelensky said: "I think [Belarusian President] Alexander Lukashenko will be glad to receive us in Minsk." "We are neither changing anything nor rejecting any diplomatic formats. We are suggesting talks," the president stated.

Zelensky’s proposal comes on the heels of an initiative on holding a TV bridge between Russia and Ukraine titled "Need to Talk" on July 12. The TV linkup is expected to be hosted by the Russian and Ukrainian TV channels, Rossiya-1 and NewsOne.

This initiative has drawn criticism in Ukraine, with many officials and some political parties calling to ban the event. Former Ukrainian prime minister and leader of the All-Ukrainian Union ‘Fatherland’ political party Yulia Timoshenko has branded the move as an "infowar."

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