As a result of the TCG (Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine) meeting, Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics of Donbass announced that they had made some progress in agreeing measures to "strengthen the ceasefire", but in general the situation continues to balance on the brink of a resumption of full-scale conflict.
Zelensky recorded a video message on the outcome of a meeting of advisers to the leaders of the Normandy Four (Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany), as well as a meeting of the members of the TCG security subgroup on Tuesday. In it, he also invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet "anywhere in the Ukrainian Donbass, where there is a war". He said that he himself "happens every month" on the contact line.
"Mr. Putin! I am ready to go even further and invite you to meet anywhere in the Ukrainian Donbass, where the war is going on", - said the President of Ukraine.
Recall that Zelensky has recently announced his desire to "talk to Putin".
“I called - they didn’t answer me”, - Zelensky told the Le Figaro newspaper, explaining that there was no answer to the call directed to Moscow.
Earlier, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov said that the format of advisers to the leaders of the "Normandy Four" is enough for communication between countries. The day before, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba again pointed out that the Russian side did not give Kiev an answer to the inquiry, and also that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov did not call him back several months ago, although he requested a conversation.
"If it was possible to resolve issues with Zelensky and Kuleba and thereby improve the general background of relations between our countries, then communication with them would not be interrupted. Therefore, I am not surprised that the Russian leadership did not find time for empty, useless conversations", - RIA Novosti quoted State Duma deputy Ruslan Balbek as commenting.
The last meeting between Putin and Zelensky took place in December 2019 in the French capital during the Normandy Summit. The countries came to a communique according to which the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine "continue to be the basis of the format's work".
Note that the transfer of Russian troops to Donbass is monitored in all major capitals of the world. Zelensky together with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the Russian leadership to withdraw additional troops from the Ukrainian border in order to defuse the evolving situation.
Even last year, Moscow and Kiev argued about the responsibility of the parties to the conflict for compliance with measures leading to silence on the line of contact of troops in Donbass. Ukraine then insisted that the Russian Federation would not control the armed forces on foreign territory, neither the Ukrainian, nor the DPR and LPR. Moscow, on the other hand, demanded that Kiev itself seek a common language with the republics of Donbass, but not with Russia. As a result, it turned out that each side has its own war: Russia considers this conflict to be an internal Ukrainian one, and positions itself as a mediator, while Ukraine is sure that this is a war with Russia.
It's worth reminding that the aggravation of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine began in winter, despite the armistice previously concluded for Donbass. Against this background, there were reports that Russia has concentrated on the Ukrainian border a record number of troops since 2014. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia has deployed two armies and three airborne units to the western borders due to the growing threats from NATO.