French envoy names condition for new Normandy summit
French Ambassador to Ukraine Etienne de Poncins has named the condition for a new summit in the Normandy Four format, which includes the leaders of Ukraine, France, Germany, and Russia.
"Our goal is not to hold a summit for the sake of its holding. In our opinion, an important task today is to implement the conclusions that were adopted at the Normandy summit in Paris in December. We may consider organizing the next meeting in this format only under this condition," he told journalists at a press conference on July 13, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
The diplomat said France was consistently emphasizing the need to use the negotiation formats that are currently in force, in particular the Normandy format and the Minsk process, to find ways to peacefully resolve the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine.
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.
Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories Oleksiy Reznikov said on July 6 the Normandy Four leaders might meet in Berlin in August.