On Friday, 16 April, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and First Lady Olena Zelenska arrived in France on a working visit.
According to the President’s press service, Zelensky will meet with President of France Emmanuel Macron in Paris. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also expected to join them via video conferencing. This information was confirmed today by German government spokesperson Steffen Seibert.
On the eve of the visit, Zelensky gave an interview to Le Figaro, saying he hopes that the French president will unblock the Normandy format.
“It seems to me that the Normandy format was in a coma; then we managed to meet at the end of 2019. And indeed, I saw that a heart of this format, if to stick to the allegory, is beating, pulse is felt. But now we see that there the format has health problems because one organ does not want to work. We need support here, primarily from Mr. Macron, and then, let’s hope, there will be a desire from Russia. Because now, no matter what Russia or its representatives in the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk say, I know for sure that they block everything,” the President of Ukraine said.
He also called for Ukraine’s accession to the European Union and NATO.
“Europe’s security depends on Ukraine’s security. Our country has suffered many casualties. We cannot remain in the waiting room of the EU and NATO indefinitely. Ukraine has long deserved to leave it. It is time to intensify work, to invite us to join the EU and NATO,” Zelensky said.
According to him, Emmanuel Macron, as well as Angela Merkel and European Council President Charles Michel, have helped Ukraine a lot, especially by imposing sanctions against Russia.