With tensions spiraling in eastern Europe, Ukraine and Russia will hold talks Wednesday at the Elysee Palace in Paris alongside representatives from Germany and France under the Normandy format. It is the first time such talks — which will take place in an advisory capacity — will be held since 2019 under the Normandy format. It is also the first time since Moscow’s latest military build-up began on Ukraine’s border. The move has stoked fears of a much wider incursion into Ukraine beyond the industrial eastern region known as Donbas, which is controlled by Russia-backed separatists. Andriy Yermak, spokesperson for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, tweeted that he had arrived in Paris for the talks, saying that the meeting was a “strong signal of readiness for a peaceful settlement.” What will be discussed in Paris? The mid-day meeting will focus on humanitarian efforts and the possibility of formal talks on the status of the Donbas region. Russia-backed separatists control the territory, though Moscow denies any connection to the proxy forces. Since last November, the US and Europe have publicly asserted there is intelligence concerning a Russian military build-up encircling Ukraine and a force that now amounts to over 100,000 troops stationed on the country’s borders. A… Read full this story
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