Steinmeier: 'Normandy Quartet' expands Minsk agreement

Steinmeier: 'Normandy Quartet' expands Minsk agreement

Another round of talks in the framework of the 'Normandy Quartet' at the level of the foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine ended on April 14 in Berlin. After the talks, German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke in detail about the agreements reached by the parties.


"It was again a very long, very intensive discussion, which in parts was very controversial. During these talks today the differences of opinion between Kiev and Moscow also became clear once again. Despite this, taking into account the events of the last days, we have no alternative but to continue working on the implementation of the provisions of the Minsk agreements. We must ensure a better implementation of the armistice, which, unfortunately, wasn't seen in recent days," Steinmeier said during a press conference.


"The Minsk agreements were devoted not only to the ceasefire, but they are about the launching of a political process, which will eventually result in a political settlement of the conflict. There is a threat that the implementation of the Minsk accord could be derailed. All the sides stressed that they would like to prevent such a development," the minister said.

 

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov also spoke about the outcome of the talks. "It was a very long, but useful meeting. We discussed the execution of the Minsk agreements. There were a lot of conflicting ideas, but we preserve the purity of the Minsk Agreements," he said."The foreign ministers of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine have reaffirmed their commitment to the agreements reached in Minsk, saying that it is necessary to fully implement the decision to withdraw the weapons and supported the proposals put forward within the framework of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, regarding the fact that in addition to those types of weapons that need to be pulled out in accordance with the Minsk agreements, the question of weapons of a caliber less than 100 millimeters falling into this category is also being considered," the head of the Russian foreign ministry said."It's quite a specific thing, the Russian side proposed it one and a half months ago through our representatives from the joint control and coordination center, and that now it is supported by the Normandy format, I think it is an important achievement," Lavrov continued. "We also highlighted the need for the Minsk agreement to be observed at its full capacity, not only its military aspect, but also its political, economic and humanitarian aspects," he said. He also denounced Kiev’s ongoing economic blockade of the Donbass Region, where the central authorities refuse to pay pensions and provide social benefits, as “wrong” and “harmful”.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov also spoke about the outcome of the talks. "It was a very long, but useful meeting. We discussed the execution of the Minsk agreements. There were a lot of conflicting ideas, but we preserve the purity of the Minsk Agreements," he said.


"The foreign ministers of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine have reaffirmed their commitment to the agreements reached in Minsk, saying that it is necessary to fully implement the decision to withdraw the weapons and supported the proposals put forward within the framework of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, regarding the fact that in addition to those types of weapons that need to be pulled out in accordance with the Minsk agreements, the question of weapons of a caliber less than 100 millimeters falling into this category is also being considered," the head of the Russian foreign ministry said.


"It's quite a specific thing, the Russian side proposed it one and a half months ago through our representatives from the joint control and coordination center, and that now it is supported by the Normandy format, I think it is an important achievement," Lavrov continued. "We also highlighted the need for the Minsk agreement to be observed at its full capacity, not only its military aspect, but also its political, economic and humanitarian aspects," he said. He also denounced Kiev’s ongoing economic blockade of the Donbass Region, where the central authorities refuse to pay pensions and provide social benefits, as “wrong” and “harmful”.

 

"We also paid special attention, and it probably took more time than anything else, to take further practical steps to implement the agreements that the contact group, which includes Kiev, Lugansk, Donetsk, Russia and the OSCE, should form working subgroups on specific areas of settlement, including the military and security issues, issues of economic recovery of Donbass, humanitarian issues and political reforms, including, of course, constitutional reform. We call on the sides to immediately create working sub-groups as part of the Contact Group and agreed that there will be groups on political process, humanitarian issues, economic issues and an amnesty," Lavrov said.

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