Russian diplomat comments on proposal to expand Normandy format

Russian diplomat comments on proposal to expand Normandy format

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko commented on a statement by Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs at the U.S. Department of State David Hale, who suggested expanding the Normandy format of talks (Russia, Germany, Ukraine and France).

He said that Russia opposes this initiative. "We treat this idea negatively, for us the format is out of question," TASS cited Grushko as saying.

The settlement in Ukraine depends only on fulfilling earlier made decisions, he noted.  "There is no need in searching for an alternative," the Deputy Foreign Minister pointed out. 

"We need to follow two tracks: the security track - to complete the disengagement of forces and the political track - to launch the process by implementing the Steinmeier formula and adopt other decisions, which would guarantee a permanent and stable special status," Grushko noted.

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