Poroshenko, Merkel, Hollande agree to follow Minsk agreements
French President Francois Hollande thinks that new negotiations are needed for a settlement of the situation in the east of Ukraine, including ones in the Normandy format. “To prepare meetings within the Normandy format, we have met today here,” Hollande said after talks in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. “We managed to reach the Minsk Agreements; this is what connects us all,” Hollande said. “We should follow Minsk-2.”
After the meeting, Angela Merkel admitted that there were disputes between the West and Russia about Ukraine, and “they had to be eliminated.” According to her, the Minsk Agreements “are a foundation for peace in Ukraine,” they should not be discredited. “The OSCE is controlling the ceasefire regime. It means its activity has priority importance,” ITAR-TASS cites the Chancellor. “We are worried about attacks (on participants of the mission), that they cannot freely travel there, they are being threatened. And our joint demand is to stop discrediting the OSCE's work.” France and Germany listened to the Ukrainian view on the situation in Donbas and decided that contacts with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the issue were necessary. “We will recover contacts with Russian President. I don’t rule out that there will be a quadrilateral metting,” Merkel said.
Meanwhile, Alexey Martynov, director of the International Institute of the Newest States, thinks that the EU has no time limit: “They can’t turn a blind eye to the actions of the people who control power in Ukraine today. Europe is incurring huge losses and doesn’t want to pass the point of no return with Russia.”
According to Martynov, Italy introduced an additional property tax about 1.5 years ago. It turns out that in general they received about 5 billion euros. They lost the same sum due to sanctions measures. “It turns out that every Italian, in this case European, paid an extra 50 euros a month because someone wanted to arrange it. The European budget is tearing apart. I think that in this case the Europeans will defend their own interests rather than follow Washington’s recommendations."