Ukraine’s Zelenskyy invites Biden and Putin to trilateral talks

On Friday, one of his close advisers said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had invited Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin to meet him amid tensions with Russia along the border.

“We are still waiting for a response from the Russian side, but our American partners welcomed our proposal with some interest,” Andrey Ermak, head of the Ukrainian Presidential Administration, said at an event organized by the American think tank “Atlantic Council.”

Kiev has suggested that the meeting be held by default.

“I think it is a proactive position to involve Ukraine in the negotiations. If it comes to discussing the security architecture in Europe, it is necessary to involve Ukraine,” Ermak added.

Officials from Washington and Moscow met in Geneva, Switzerland, earlier this week to discuss security, and talks between Russia and NATO followed.

Both Ukraine and the European Union deplored their failure to invite them to the Washington-Moscow summit, arguing that any discussion of Ukrainian and European security should include them.

Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops and military equipment along the border with Ukraine, raising fears that Moscow may be ready for an invasion.

Moscow denied this, but demanded guarantees that NATO would not expand further east by preventing Ukraine and Georgia from joining them. The United States and its European allies rejected this demand, asserting that sovereign states have the right to decide their security alliances.

High-level meetings this week have so far failed to rule out a new conflict in Ukraine.

Tensions have risen between the two neighboring countries since the outbreak of conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014 between Ukrainian forces, pro-Russian separatists, and the illegal annexation of Crimea.

A ceasefire was brokered through the Normandy model in which France and Germany participated, but bouts of violent confrontation have occurred regularly since then.

On Tuesday, Zelensky also called for a new four-way summit with Moscow, Paris and Berlin “to end the conflict” with pro-Russian separatists in the east of his country.


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