Russia: Next Normandy Format summit can only take place after Donbas special status is included in Ukraine’s Constitution

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that a new summit in the Normandy Format can only take place after the decisions made at the previous summit have been implemented, especially the enshrinement of the “special status of the Donbas” in Ukrainian law, Interfax-Ukraine reports.

“I have not heard about a meeting of ministers in the Normandy Format being planned for one month’s time. Our colleagues are saying that another Normandy Format summit should be scheduled for as early as April. We have informed them of our very clear position: We will talk about a date for the next summit only when, firstly, everything we spoke about in Paris has been implemented, including normalization on the ground and demining, and political matters related to the Steinmeier Formula, and the enshrinement of aspects of the special status [of the Donbas] on a permanent basis in Ukrainian law,” said Lavrov at a press conference.

The politician said that a second prerequisite was the drafting and signing of a draft outcome document, “so that there won’t be another attempt during the summit to destroy the agreements that have been reached”.

Lavrov pointed out that before the summit in Paris, there was an agreement to disengage forces and heavy weaponry along the entire demarcation line, but at the actual meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky changed this agreement.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said previously that the foreign ministers of the four Normandy countries are planning a meeting to prepare for another summit, and that such a meeting could take place “sometime in the next month”.

On February 17, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that it is not yet clear in what month another meeting will be held, and that the matter is still being discussed.

  Normandy Format, Donbas, Lavrov