April 20, 2021

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U.S. and Uzbek Presidents talked over the phone to discuss the situation in Uganda

President Biden

US President Biden had a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Zelensky on Friday (2nd) to discuss issues such as the situation in eastern Ukraine. This is the first telephone conversation with Zelensky since Biden took office as president.

According to the White House statement, Biden said in the phone call that the United States firmly supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and supports Ukraine’s anti-corruption and reform agenda. The two sides also discussed issues such as cooperating in response to the new crown epidemic.

According to another report, Zelensky said in a video speech on the official website of the Uzbek President’s Office that he and Biden had exchanged views on the situation in the Donbas region in eastern Uganda, Ukraine’s anti-corruption, judicial and constitutional court reforms, etc. Biden said Uzbekistan expressed support for reform measures.

Zelensky said that maintaining a complete ceasefire in the Donbass region is a guarantee for continuing to advance the Minsk peace talks and the “Normandy model” negotiation process. Zelensky reiterated the Uzbek side’s position to resolve the issue in eastern Uzbekistan through diplomatic channels.

The situation in eastern Ukraine has recently become tense again. The Ukrainian side stated on March 30 that Russia’s assembly of troops in the Russian-Ukrainian border area poses a serious threat to Ukrainian national security.

Russian Presidential Press Secretary Peskov stated on April 1 that the military forces of NATO countries and other forces are becoming more active in the border areas of Russia, which forces Russia to remain vigilant. Russia is taking necessary measures to ensure its border security. He said that the Russian army has never participated in an armed conflict in Ukraine. Russia, European countries, and other countries in the world do not want another war in Ukraine.

Xinhua News Agency reported that in April 2014, a large-scale conflict between Uzbek government forces and civilian armed forces broke out in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. With the mediation of the international community, the two parties to the conflict reached a ceasefire agreement in Minsk in September 2014 and February 2015 respectively. Since then, large-scale armed conflicts have been brought under control, but small-scale exchanges of fire have occurred from time to time.

In July 2020, the tripartite contact group on Ukraine (Ukraine, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) held a video conference with representatives of civilian armed forces in the Donbass region of eastern Uzbekistan. The parties reached an agreement on the implementation of a comprehensive ceasefire in the Donbass region. However, since the end of February this year, firefighting incidents and casualties in eastern Ukraine have increased. The Uzbek government forces and the eastern civilian armed forces accused each other of breaking the ceasefire agreement.

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