REUTERS

Ukraine has almost implemented the steps agreed upon at the latest summit of the Normandy Four (Ukraine, Germany, France, and Russia) leaders in Paris last year's December, says Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories Oleksiy Reznikov.

In an interview with RFE/RL's Ukrainian service, the official elaborated on the response to a question about the deadline for progress in the negotiations announced by President Volodymyr Zelensky last year.

"I was asked by journalists what President Zelensky had had in mind when he said that it will take a year. I said that, probably, in my opinion, including by agreeing on December 9 with the leaders of the Normandy Four about a certain action plan, laid down at the Paris summit, we take a year to implement it. And we have almost implemented it," the minister said.

Read alsoContinuing war against Ukraine "disadvantageous" for Russia – ReznikovReznikov stressed the Trilateral Contact Group had identified four new disengagement areas, as well as 19 humanitarian mine clearance sites. He also recalled two new crossing points of the contact line, scheduled to launch on November 10. The ceasefire remains in place despite violations, he said.

"If we list the agreements [reached] in Paris, we can say the sides have implemented them. And this is the basis for a new summit. But at the new summit in Berlin, the leaders of the Normandy format may sit down and say: we haven't done some things – let's ask ourselves why, who failed to make an effort, who may be to blame, have we set realistic plans before ourselves, or, perhaps, we have not finalized somewhere. And all four will talk this over, namely representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France," Reznikov added.

Normandy Four summit: Background

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.

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.

The leaders encouraged the TCG to promote the release and exchange of held persons by the end of the year on an "all for all" basis, starting with "all identified for all identified persons."

The parties expressed their interest in reaching agreements within the Normandy format and the TCG on all legal aspects of the law on the special order of local self-government (on the special status) of certain areas in Donetsk and Luhansk regions – as specified in the Comprehensive Package of Measures for the Implementation of Minsk agreements of 2015 – to ensure its continued application.