A summit in the “Normandy format” (Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France) in the Donbass will soon be possible, but only if the Paris agreements are fulfilled, said Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov.
“We can say for sure that when fulfilling the Paris agreements, an early summit in the “Normandy Format” is possible. The key phrase is precisely when fulfilling the Paris agreements”, – Peskov told the reporters.
In April 2014, the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the self-proclaimed LPR and DPR, which declared independence after the coup in Ukraine in February 2014. According to the latest UN data, about 13 thousand people became victims of the conflict. The issue of resolving the situation in the Donbass is discussed, in particular, during meetings of the contact group in Minsk, which since September 2014 has already adopted three documents regulating steps to de-escalate the conflict. However, after the armistice agreements between the parties to the conflict, skirmishes continue.
At the first summit of this format in three years, held in Paris on December 9, 2019, the parties adopted a joint communiqué and agreed to meet in Berlin four months later to continue work on resolving the situation in the Donbass. The document emphasized that the Minsk agreements remain the basis for work in the “Norman format”, the separation of forces is envisaged by the end of March 2020 at three new points in the Donbass. The leaders also called for a ceasefire in the Donbass by the end of 2019. However, the meeting of the leaders of the countries in Berlin did not take place, in particular, due to the situation with the global coronavirus pandemic and the Ukrainian side’s failure to comply with previous agreements.
Last Friday in Berlin, negotiations were held between advisers to the leaders of four countries in which they participated: from the Russian side – Dmitry Kozak, from the German – Jan Hecker, from the French – Emmanuel Bon, and from the Ukrainian – Andrei Ermak. According to the Ukrainian side, the meeting lasted 11 hours. Kozak said that at the talks on Friday in Berlin, the parties worked out a concrete mechanism for the implementation of a ceasefire in the Donbass, but it’s very, very early to talk about the Norman Four summit.