Russian Foreign Ministry appreciates the prospects of convening the “Normandy four” summit

Talking about specific dates for the “Normandy four” summit will be possible after the OSCE verification of the troop withdrawal in the Donbass, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko.

“We will wait. First, until the withdrawal of forces ends in Zolotoye, and then until this process is organized in Petrovskoye, including taking into account the threats that, as I have understood, were voiced by volunteer nationalist battalions and which will impede the process of withdrawal”, – Rudenko told the reporters.

“When all these things are completed and verified by the OSCE mission that everything is done according to the rules, then we’ll talk about specific dates of the summit in the Norman format. So far, it seems to me, it’s premature”, – he added.

Earlier, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristayko said that the process of troop withdrawal between the Ukrainian security forces and militias began on Tuesday in Zolotoye, and Petrovskoye was supposed to be the next. The headquarters of the operation of the Ukrainian security forces confirmed that at 13:00 Moscow time on Tuesday the process of troop withdrawal from the contact line in the Donbass in Zolotoye area began.

Earlier Pristayko also said that the preliminary date of the “Normandy four” meeting has been determined, awaiting final agreement by all parties.

According to him, the summit in the “Norman format” on the settlement in the Donbass may be held in mid-November in Paris. At the same time, the Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov said that there is no deadline for the “Norman Summit” and cannot be, the format is experiencing difficulties due to the departure of one of the parties from the Minsk agreements.

The so-called “Norman format” of negotiations on Ukraine has existed since June 2014. Then, during the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany  discussed the settlement of the conflict in Donbass for the first time. Since then, a number of telephone conversations and summits have taken place, as well as contacts of foreign ministers.

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