Among the topics discussed by President Zelensky were those highlighted on the website of the Presidential Office of Ukraine. Following are excerpts from the Presidential Office’s reports.
– About his mission: “I want to remind you which president the society elected – they elected a president who will end the war. That is my mission for five years.”
– Speaking of Ukrainians living on the occupied territories of the Donbas: “This part of the people who feel themselves Ukrainians should know: we do not leave them, we do not abandon them, return them together with the territory. This is our plan A. And plan B, if we have a long history, a long way with the return of the territories, people will still be a priority, and we must provide them with the opportunity to be here.”
– Regarding a summit of leaders of the Normandy Four: “Since 2016, it has not taken place. Generally, there was a feeling that no one of the authorities had needed it. We said: we need it. We need to look into each other’s eyes to understand what we want, and to understand the real steps when and how we can end the war because we really want it.” He stressed that a meeting in the Normandy format was necessary for the end of the war, and that a number of steps had been taken to organize these negotiations: the troop separation near Stanytsia Luhanska, the mutual release of detainees, acceptance of the Steinmeier formula. “Everybody asks, why are you eager for meeting in the Normandy format? I have a nameplate [of the victims in Donbas]. In two days, one person – those are the statistics. Do I have to hurry or not?”
– Touching on the issue of U.S. assistance and whether it was raised in his telephone conversation with President Donald Trump: “Our phone conversation bears no relation to arms.” The main focus of the telephone conversation: “I wanted strong support from the U.S., I really wanted to meet, and there were no conditions of the meeting – either because of arms or the situation around the Burisma company. We just had to get the relationship back on track, it had to be the first meeting.”
– On results expected from Ukraine’s law enforcement agencies: “We conduct meetings with law enforcement officials. We have an extreme point now – November 1. We meet at these meetings weekly, every two weeks, where I ask them about the result. …I told law enforcement agencies that they had to show the results in several high-profile cases by November 1.”
– Regarding Ukrainian citizens detained by Russia: “No one will ever forget a single prisoner.” Noting that there are several lists of people for release: a list of Ukrainians, including Crimeans, held by Russia; a list of people imprisoned in the occupied territory of Donbas; and a list of Ukrainians whose detention is not confirmed in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, he said: “We are ready even tomorrow. Honestly speaking, the Russian side declares to us that we will not get to this point without the Normandy format. Why am I in a hurry with the Normandy format? Because one of the great achievements for our country is solving this issue and returning people. …if the Normandy format is delayed because there is no separation of troops and the shots continue in Zolote, then we will find other formats for how to get our people back. One of them is Minsk. There is another one – my direct talks with the president of the Russian Federation.”
– About local elections in the Donbas: “We have to understand that they can only take place under Ukrainian law. This means that all parties should have the opportunity to be elected there. And who will go there if there are troops? And who will be there to ensure security? …There are steps: ceasefire, withdrawal of all foreign military formations. And all this is described before the election. …There can be no military, there can be no rifles and machine-guns, there must be accessibility for all parties under Ukrainian law. If the Central Election Commission and journalists do not have access from the beginning, then the elections will not automatically take place…”
– Regarding relations between Ukraine and Poland: “We need to develop the best relations with our neighbors. We should always understand each other, develop cultural relations and leave behind our problems. Therefore, we must have strong, very good relations with Poland. I think we have them. But they must be developed without wasting time. In particular we can have meetings, joint projects, joint ventures. Relationships are always strong if there is joint business at the state level.” He emphasized that Poland has always publicly defended the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.
– On the issue of media ownership: “All media owners must be businesspeople, not politicians. They may have a portfolio of 90 percent, but they should not influence the policy of one or another media.” He added that there should be a law regulating this area.
– On the appointment of a new ambassador of Ukraine to the United States: “The person is chosen. He is an experienced diplomat who knows the United States very well. I think he will be appointed in the near future.”