Nazarbayev suggests Putin and Zelensky could meet in Kazakhstan
First Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has said he is convinced that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will be able to agree upon ways to settle the conflict in the east of Ukraine at their personal meeting, suggesting that such a meeting could be held in Kazakhstan.
"I have now met with Mr. Zelensky and have listened to him. Just yesterday I spoke to Vladimir Putin about how to further tackle this problem. [...] I believe that there is a need for a separate, personal meeting between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine," Nazarbayev said at the 5th session of the Astana Club political forum in the Kazakh capital on Tuesday.
"I discussed such a one-on-one meeting. It seems to me that the time is right for it today. Zelensky received very extensive support from the people and he can demonstrate his political will and resolve this issue. [...] The question here is how to elect those who will govern eastern Ukraine after the conflict ends and all armed formations are withdrawn," he said.
"I have already received Zelensky's consent to a one-on-one meeting. I have informed the president of Russia of that. Now let's see what happens next. If they need a neutral platform, I have suggested Kazakhstan," he said.
"This process shouldn't be slowed down, and one shouldn't think that Putin doesn't want that. He wants peace to be restored there. And we all perfectly understand that Russia doesn't need territories. Rather, the things it needs are absolutely different. Russian security agencies have found themselves there for other reasons," Nazarbayev said.