Head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak has said Ukraine, Germany, and France have developed a clear plan toward a peaceful settlement in Donbas and are now awaiting for its approval on the part of Russia.
"Today we have a common position with the German and French delegations, and we expect the same position from the Russian Federation," Yermak said March 9 during an online discussion titled "Conflict in the East of Ukraine: Prospects for 2021."
"Today a specific peace plan proposed by Germany and France, and finalized by Ukraine, is on the table and we believe it is in line with the spirit and principles of Minsk [Agreements], and it meets the norms of international law," the official added.
According to Yermak, today Russia declares its readiness to end the war, reintegrate the occupied territories into Ukraine and return Ukrainian citizens, and the said plan meets all the specified criteria.
"Today we must clearly say: either we are following this path, or someone must say – we're against this, we don't want peace in Ukraine – and the whole world will see what's going on," he said.
Yermak noted he remained optimistic about the processes ongoing around the peaceful settlement in Donbas.
"Today we believe a very powerful step has been proposed by Germany and France within the framework of the Normandy format, which we are discussing today. And I hope it will also be the subject of a powerful discussion at a conference call in the Normandy format in a week or two – these are the so-called clusters, logical steps that fully comply with the spirit and principles of the Minsk agreements, comply with international law. and may become, if agreed, the basis for a roadmap," he said.
According to Yermak, the implementation of the "road map" must be aimed at actually achieving peace in Donbas, at reintegrating the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as holding local elections.
Read alsoKravchuk tells how Ukraine set to react to Donbas escalationNormandy format: Background
The Normandy Four is a format of talks in a quadripartite format, involving Ukraine, Germany, France, and Russia, where issues of Russian armed aggression against Ukraine are discussed.
The name of the format comes from a summit of the four leaders, which first took place in Benouville, Normandy region, northwestern France, on June 6, 2014.
The latest summit of the Normandy Four leaders was held in Paris in December 2019.
On March 9, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he is ready to hold separate meetings with each of the leaders of the Normandy Four (Germany, France, Russia) if the summit keeps being postponed.