The Strategist

'Normandy Four' to Meet in October

09/10/2015 - 15:31

Presidents of Russia, France and Ukraine - Vladimir Putin, Francois Hollande, and Petro Poroshenko - and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold new face-to-face talks.
As reported by the press service of the Elysee Palace, the leaders agreed to meet in Paris on October 2nd in the course of telephone conversations. The four countries’ Ministers of Foreign Affairs, who will hold a meeting in Berlin this Saturday, will prepare the agenda. One of the key issues, to be resolved by the participants during the negotiations, remains the holding of local elections in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

According to the Kremlin press service, the leaders of the four countries held a telephone conversation, during which discussed the situation in the south-east of Ukraine, and the work of the contact group on the settlement in Minsk.
- The leaders welcomed the recent maintenance on the south-eastern Ukraine ceasefire. Withdrawal of armored vehicles, mortars to 120 mm and artillery shells to 100 mm across the contact line would be in line with the task of further de-escalation of the situation and create conditions for economic recovery of the Donbass affected", - stated in the Kremlin. This clarifies that Vladimir Putin has again called on Kiev to direct dialogue with the representatives of the breakaway republics.

The Elysee Palace said that the interlocutors discussed the three key themes on the phone: security, political settlement and humanitarian aid. Moreover, when the Kremlin message reports on discussion of "the organization of local elections" speaking broadly, Paris has expressed its position on this matter clearly.
- An agreed date should be determined for the organization of local elections in some regions of Donetsk and Lugansk - says the press service’s statement. - Preparing the elections’ details and the elaboration of the issues of local autonomy must be conducted in parallel.

The press service of Petro Poroshenko has expressed even more dramatically.
- The leaders of Ukraine, Germany and France have agreed that conducting the pseudo-elections in some areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions would be a violation of Minsk agreements and jeopardize the entire process of further political settlement, - said Kiev.