Russia opposes initiative on expanding Normandy format
Moscow has opposed the initiative on expanding the Normandy format of talks (which now includes Russia, Germany, Ukraine, and France), believing the Donbas settlement depends only on the fulfillment of decisions made earlier.
"We treat this idea negatively, for us the format is out of question," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told TASS on Monday, commenting on a statement by David Hale, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, who suggested expanding the Normandy format of talks.
"There is no need in searching for an alternative. We need to follow two tracks: the security track – to complete the disengagement of forces, and the political track – to launch the process by implementing the 'Steinmeier formula' and adopt other decisions, which would guarantee a permanent and stable special status," Grushko said.
Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Dmytro Razumkov earlier said a new bill on the special status of Donbas would be developed after the Normandy Four summit. "I think, as the president promised, after the Normandy summit we will be able to join the process more globally, together with Ukrainian society, to make it a high quality bill," he said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the leaders of the Normandy Four states – Ukraine, France, Germany, and Russia – are scheduled to meet in Paris, France, on December 9.