The European Union sees a recent Normandy summit in Paris as a window of opportunity for the implementation of the Minsk peace agreements on Donbas.
"The measures agreed under the Normandy format and the renewed engagement by the parties at the Summit in Paris yesterday [December 9] are important steps. Their quick and thorough implementation is essential and would have a direct positive impact on the lives of people in eastern Ukraine on both sides of the contact line. The new dynamics in the Normandy format talks represent a window of opportunity that should be used by the sides to move towards the full implementation of the Minsk agreements," Spokesperson of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Peter Stano said in a statement on December 10, commenting on the outcome of the Normandy summit.
"This will remain the key to reaching a sustainable and peaceful solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which would contribute to a substantial improvement in EU-Russia relations," he said.
The European Union appreciates the constructive approach displayed by Ukraine and expects Russia to use its influence so that the Minsk agreements can be fully implemented.
The EU reaffirms its support to the efforts by France and Germany in the Normandy format, and to the work of the Trilateral Contact Group.
According to the spokesperson, the EU stands ready to support further the demining activities and the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, which must have safe, secure, unconditional and unimpeded access to the entire territory of Ukraine.
The EU recalls its full support to the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and independence of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Paris on December 9, 2019, to discuss ways to end the war in Donbas.
In particular, they reaffirmed their commitment to the full and comprehensive ceasefire regime by the end of 2019 and supported the arrangement within the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk on the disengagement of troops and weapons at three new sites in eastern Ukraine by the end of March 2020.
They encouraged the Trilateral Contact Group to promote the release and exchange of detained persons associated with the conflict by the end of the year on an "all for all" basis, starting with "all identified for all identified."
The parties expressed their interest in reaching agreements within the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group on all legal aspects of the law on the special order of local self-government (on the special status) of certain districts in Donetsk and Luhansk regions – as specified in the Comprehensive Set of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk agreements of 2015 – to ensure its continued operation.
They also consider it necessary to incorporate the so-called "Steinmeier formula" into Ukrainian law according to the version agreed by the Normandy Four leaders and the Trilateral Contact Group.