German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas expects the upcoming meeting of foreign ministers from Normandy Four countries (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine) to be difficult.
“The very fact of resuming our meeting after a 16-month pause is a success itself,” Maas said in an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper, published on Sunday. “The implementation of the Minsk agreements has been delayed for too long, at the expense of eastern Ukrainian residents, who just want peace, and nothing else.”
“The resumption of talks is going to be tough,” the minister went on, adding that Moscow and Kiev had different approaches and goals.
“We need to try everything in order to achieve a sustainable ceasefire, to withdraw heawy weaponry [from the disengagement line] and to improve the humanitarian situation in Donbass,” Maas said. “We also need to discuss the UN mission [to Donbass].”
The top diplomats of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine will meet on Monday at the Villa Borsig estate on the outskirts of Berlin. The meeting is scheduled for 18:30 local time (19:30 Moscow time).