The topic of Ukraine will be raised during the next meeting between the presidents of the United States and the Russian Federation, Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin. The sides are currently agreeing on the timing and format of the meeting, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
"During the next contact between our presidents - its timing and other parameters are now being discussed - of course, the Ukrainian topic will arise one way or another," Interfax quoted Lavrov as saying.
Lavrov noted that Russia does not consider it necessary to create new formats for talks on Ukraine. According to him, there is the "Normandy format" and the "Minsk agreements", and there is a contact group "where Donetsk, Luhansk and Kyiv work directly with the help of the OSCE and the Russian Federation."
The Russian Foreign Minister said that it is necessary to fulfill all the agreements concluded in Minsk.
According to Lavrov, Moscow proceeds from the fact that the United States "still, perhaps, better understands the current situation" around the Donbas, and "can influence Kyiv more than anyone else."
The leaders of the Normandy Four have not met for two years. The last summit in the Normandy format was held in Paris in December 2019 after an even longer, three-year break.
In September 2021, the head of the Ukrainian Presidential Administration, Andriy Yermak, said that Ukraine was working to hold a new summit of the leaders of the Normandy Four countries before the end of the cadence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
In October, the German chancellor and the French president held separate talks with Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin. As a result of these talks, it was decided to intensify the work of the Normandy Four and to organize a meeting of foreign ministers.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry published 28 pages of diplomatic documents to show that the position of the Russian side and its approach to holding a meeting in the "Normandy format" is allegedly regularly distorted. These documents showed serious contradictions between Russia and Germany and France. Among other things, the European diplomats disagreed with the Russian narrative of the "internal Ukrainian conflict" in Ukraine.
After the publication of the documents, France and Germany accused Russia of violating diplomatic protocol. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Russia is undermining the Normandy format with its actions.
According to Ukrainian intelligence, Russia has accumulated more than 92 thousand troops near the Ukrainian borders and is preparing to attack Ukraine in late January or early February. An attack could include airstrikes, artillery and armored attacks, followed by airborne attacks in the east, amphibious attacks in Odesa and Mariupol, and a smaller invasion through neighboring Belarus.
After the statement of the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Kirill Budanov, that Russia is planning a new large-scale attack on Ukraine this winter, the Kremlin accused NATO of "filling Ukraine up with weapons", and Kyiv of "aggressive plans".