“France and Germany, which are mediators in the Normandy format, call on the parties to re-engage in the implementation of the Minsk Agreements and to intensify negotiations after the presidential election in Ukraine, in coordination with the elected authorities”, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman said at a news briefing. The spokesman stressed that “the full implementation of the Minsk agreements remains the only way to resolve the [Ukrainian] crisis”.
“We expect the parties to reaffirm their further political will to restore peace”, the official said.
The armed conflict in the east of Ukraine sparked in 2014, after the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics refused to recognize the new government, saying that it had come to power through a coup.
In 2015, the warring parties signed a ceasefire deal in Minsk, following talks, brokered by the leaders of the Normandy group. Despite this agreement, sporadic fighting has continued in Donbass. To date, the situation remains tense, with both sides accusing each other of violating the ceasefire.
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko reiterated last week that the negotiations on the Donbass crisis settlement in the so-called Normandy Four format, which comprises France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine, will resume shortly after the Ukrainian presidential election.
In February Russian President Vladimir Putin and French Emmanuel Macron, while having a phone talk, spoke about the willingness to work together within the so-called Normandy format on the Ukrainian settlement, according to the Kremlin.
Earlier Russian Ambassador to Berlin Sergey Nechaev said that it was useless to talk about a new Normandy Four meeting as long as implementation of previous agreements on Donbas settlement is stalled by Kiev
“Under the circumstances of Kiev failing to make real progress [on implementing previous agreements], it is hardly sensible to talks about new Normandy Four meetings,” the diplomat said.
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