Zelensky meets with Merkel, Macron, the EU, and the EC

Lane Johansen
October 18, 2021

Between October 10 and 16, the Joint Forces Operation in eastern Ukraine reported 57 violations on the part of Russian-backed forces, 14 of which involved weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements. 3 Ukrainian soldiers were injured, but thankfully there were no fatalities over the past week.

On October 11, President Zelensky held a video conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the peaceful resolution of the war in eastern Ukraine. After the meeting, Chancellor Merkel and President Macron conducted a telephone meeting with President Putin. The Kremlin announced that the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and Russia could meet soon to discuss the conflict. President Macron responded with a statement insisting Ukraine take part in the meeting.

On October 12, President Zelensky met with President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in Kyiv for the 23rd EU-Ukraine Summit. The EU expressed support for increased economic integration of Ukraine with the EU, as well as support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, energy security, and Crimea Platform initiative. Euromaidan Press characterized the Summit as “fruitful,” noting that the EU called Russia a party to the war in Donbas for the first time.

Ukraine and the EU also signed the Open Skies Treaty on October 12th after 15 years of negotiations. The treaty will remove market restrictions from airlines operating in Ukrainian and EU airspace, which should open up more low-cost air routes in Ukraine and boost economic and tourist cooperation between the EU and Ukraine.

October 14 marked the Day of Defenders and Defendresses of Ukraine, a public holiday officially established on October 14, 2021. A ceremony honoring those fallen for Ukraine took place at Mykhailivska Square in Kyiv, where President Zelensky laid flowers at the Wall of Remembrance.