Leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine, Russia will meet to discuss Ukrainian crisis
On Sunday, February 8 during a conference call German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko agreed to hold a meeting on Wednesday, February 11.
“In the call they continued to work on a package of measures in the context of their efforts on a comprehensive settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The efforts will be continued at the expert level in Berlin on February 9 in order to prepare for the upcoming “Normandy format” summit taking place in Minsk this Wednesday,” said German government spokesman, Steffen Seibert, according to RIA Novosti. Seibert also mentioned a Trilateral Contact Group meeting between representatives of Russia, Ukraine, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSACE) and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) (also referred to as separatist rebels) which will take place on February 10.
This information was also confirmed by the press office of the Ukrainian President and by the press office of the Russian President. “The aim is to make substantial preparations for the planned upcoming summit in the Normandy format in Minsk on February 11,” stated the press office of the Russian President.
According to the Russian News Agency “TASS”, an authorized representative of the self-proclaimed LPR Vladislav Deinego has already confirmed that he will participate in the Contact Group meeting in Minsk on February 10. He is determined to make sure that a document on regulating the situation in eastern Ukraine be developed and approved for the self-proclaimed Republics to sign. The head of the LPR Igor Plotnitsky said that he will attend the Contact Group meeting only to sign a final agreed upon document.
The previous Contact Group meeting concerning Ukraine took place in Minsk on January 31. Representatives of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego, Ukraine’s representative, former president Leonid Kuchma, as well as representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Heidi Tagliavini, and Russian ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov took part in it. The meeting was held behind closed doors and lasted for over three hours, no agreement was reached.
As for the “Normandy format” summit on Wednesday, according to the press office of the Ukrainian President, it is expected that the meeting could result in an immediate ceasefire between the two sides.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, cautioned during a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko that the meeting might not even take place. “We intend to have the meeting on Wednesday, that is, if by that time we manage to agree on a number of points which we’ve been intensely discussing lately,” said Putin.
There have already been negotiations between Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Petro Poroshenko, and then later on with Vladimir Putin in Kiev and Moscow.
On February 6 trilateral negotiations took place between the leaders of Germany, France and Russia. The vis-à-vis meeting lasted over 5 hours without the participation of delegation members or experts. After the meeting Merkel stated that the visit was worthwhile, even though there is no guarantee that there will be tangible results. Hollande proposed to offer more independence to the eastern parts of Ukraine and noted that the Franco-German efforts in regulating the conflict in the country are one of the only chances left to restore peace.
Text and pictures by TUT.by