Normandy Format Ministers have yet to reach an agreement on the issues of elections in the Donbas
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin, stated that he does not feel that any breakthroughs were made during the talks between the Foreign Ministers of the ‘Normandy Four’ countries in Paris, Reuters reports.
The Foreign Ministers of Ukraine, Germany, Russia and France were unable to agree on the key issue of the meeting- the elections in specified districts of the Donbas region. Germany and France have proposed to hold elections in the first half of 2016. Moscow, according to the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergei Lavrov, was ready to support the proposal. However, Kiev asked not to insist on this.
Klimkin said that in order to organize elections in the Donbas region, the security issues must be resolved first. "Pay no attention to different interpretations. No conclusions were agreed upon. Our stance is safety first," Klimkin wrote on Twitter on March 3rd.
The German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, stated the talks were very difficult and added that the meeting's participants can't be happy with the situation in the Donbas region, or the results of the meeting. According to Steinmeier, the ceasefire continues to be violated, especially along the contact line between the separatists and the Ukrainian army. In the present situation, a symbolic commitment to the Minsk Agreements is not enough, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany said.
Kiev and the West have accused Moscow of supporting the separatists in eastern Ukraine by sending troops and weapons, and thereby violating the Minsk Agreements. Russia denies these accusations.
In turn, Ukraine has failed to make progress in fulfilling commitments within the framework of the Minsk process, in particular, making reforms aimed at the decentralization of the government.