Ukraine to convene 'Normandy Format' conference call

Ukraine intends to organize a telephone conference of the "Normandy format" member countries to resolve the situation in the Donbas.

Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin announced this on Tuesday in Rome, where he is on a two-day working visit, reported RFE/RL.

A telephone conference between the main representatives of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France should be held in the near future.

"We're talking about a matter of days," Klimkin said at a press conference in the Italian Foreign Ministry.

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, during the telephone conversation Kyiv "will address a clear issue: that Russia should no longer be able to violate the Minsk agreements."

The Minister stated that Moscow should stop shelling, withdraw its troops, allow OSCE control throughout the Donbas (including on the Ukrainian-Russian border), release prisoners, and facilitate the holding of free elections.

In turn, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano assured his Ukrainian counterpart that Italy would spare no effort to restore the economic development of Ukraine within the context of its Association Agreement with the EU, the economic portion of which was signed three years ago.

He added that Italy's contribution to security would intensify next year, as the country assumes the OSCE chairmanship. Alfano once again confirmed Rome's official position that "Italy does not recognize the annexation of Crimea by Russia in any form."

Over the course of his two-day visit to Rome, Minister Paul Klimkin also spoke at a hearing of Italian Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, which discussed bilateral cooperation and the development of the situation in the East of Ukraine within the context of compliance with the Minsk agreements.

It was reported earlier that French President Emmanuel Macron expects that negotiations between the leaders of the "Normandy format" will be held in late June - early July.

  Normandy Format, Donbas