The President of Ukraine, Volodímir Zelenski, assured the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, on Sunday that he is in favor of a diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian crisis and that the country will not succumb to Russia’s provocations. “We are in favor of a political and diplomatic solution to the conflict,” Zelensky said during a telephone conversation with the Belgian politician, according to a statement from his office.
Russia describes the “collective” responses of Borrell and NATO as “disrespectful”: “We cannot accept them”
The president has reiterated that Kiev understands “all the risks” in the face of the threat of an attack due to the deployment of more than 100,000 Russian soldiers on the border with Ukraine and “is prepared for any scenario.” He has indicated, however, that Ukraine has lived in this state since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula and the armed conflict began in the east of the country between pro-Russian separatists supported by Moscow and the Ukrainian Army. Zelenski has stressed that currently “the worst enemy is panic” that can be generated by warnings from the West, especially the US, about an imminent Russian attack, even next week.
The Ukrainian president and Michel have discussed the steps that must be taken to promote a de-escalation and achieve peace in Donbas within the existing negotiation formats, in particular in the Normandy Format (Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France). He also stressed the importance of unity and coordination of political and diplomatic efforts to unblock the peace process and restore stability, according to his office.
He also thanked Michel and the leaders of the European Union (EU) for keeping their diplomats in the country. He has also insisted on the Ukrainian demand that preventive sanctions be imposed on Russia in order to prevent “the aggressive intentions of the Kremlin”, something that the EU does not contemplate. But he is preparing an unprecedented sanctions package in case Russia decides to invade the neighboring country.
Zelensky and Michel have also discussed how to increase Ukraine’s defense and financial capabilities in light of the Russian threat and the risk of destabilizing the economy. In this context, the Ukrainian president thanked the EU for the macro-financial aid package of 1,200 million euros granted to the former Soviet republic.