Western partners were against my call to Putin, - Zelensky

Besides, the president stated he discussed the prisoners’ exchange in all-to-all format with Putin
21:51, 17 July 2019

Radio Svoboda
112 Agency

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky noted that he called President of Russia Vladimir Putin because “first of all, it is the issue of Ukraine and its citizens”. However, the western partners of Ukraine did not support him as Zelensky reported on Facebook.

“You know what is the matter and why it is very difficult (the issue of the end of the war in Donbas, - Because everyone says, perish the thought, if the direct negotiations with Russia take place, the sanctions will be lifted. To be honest, I do not understand such a model. I was sure that sanctions are imposed not due to my talk with the president of the Russian Federation; the sanctions are imposed due to the fact that Crimea was taken away from us and temporarily occupied territories are supported (by Russia, -, - the president said.

Related: Zelensky predicts time frame of Normandy Format summit

According to Zelensky, he called Putin despite the disapproval from the side of the partners because “it is the issue, first of all, of Ukraine”.

“All, let’s say, partners of Ukraine are against even my calls to Putin. I decided to call Putin because, first of all, it is an issue of Ukraine, an issue of its citizens. So we should thank our western partners, thank everyone for the support but we should have our own opinion,” Zelensky emphasized.

The president stated that he discussed the exchange of the prisoners in all for all format during the talk with the Russian leader.

“The president of the Russian Federation has told me that he sees the solution of the issue in the prisoners’ exchange all for all. The point is that the list of all our people, who stay in the occupied territories, does not coincide with the list of people, who control these territories. Let’s return, firstly, those, who are kept in Russia and Crimea and begin with the sailors. I think it is a normal step for the return of the dialogue and powerful step to cease a war,” he stated.

On July 11, Kremlin reported the first phone conversation between President Volodymyr Zelensky and President Vladimir Putin. The talk took place upon the initiative of the Ukrainian side.

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