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In her Facebook posting, Gerashchenko clarified her earlier message stating that the elections in France and Germany suspended the work of the Normandy Four.

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“It's obvious that the electoral campaign and dealing with internal challenges are now important and key for our European partners in the Normandy format. It’s obvious that Putin and Russia want to take advantage of this and put on pause the Normandy [process] and the Minsk process, which derives from it. He [Putin] does everything to delay the implementation of the Minsk agreements, and this influences the solution of those issues we are discussing in Minsk, which remain blocked. It is worth to say thanks to our European partners that despite all, the Donbas issue remains important,” said Gerashchenko.

She added that during the latest talks between Chancellor Merkel and President Putin, the German leader made it clear to the Russian president that the sanctions would remain in place until full implementation of Minsk agreements; while the latest statements by the leader of the [French] presidential campaign Macron about the need for the implementation of Minsk agreements testify to the consistent policy of France."

At the same time, she stated that "the Russian Federation is exploring all ways to discredit and level both the Normandy format and the Minsk process."

Gerashchenko explained that Putin would like to put the Normandy format on pause.

Read alsoUkraine's envoy: Number of hostages in occupied Donbas grows to 127"But we together with our partners are against it," she added.

As UNIAN reported earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated Germany's position regarding the possible lifting of Russia sanctions at a joint press conference in Sochi with Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 2, saying that the condition for such developments would be the full implementation of Minsk agreements.