Lavrov: Russia sees no reason for Normandy Format meeting
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on July 30 that he does not see the conditions for holding another Normandy Format (Ukraine, Germany, France and Russia) session at the highest level because “the leaders’ previous agreements have not been fulfilled”.
“Until such a purely specific agreement of Normandy Four state officials on three specific settlements is carried out, holding another summit will not be very good for the Normandy Format’s reputation. Not to mention that in the political arena, such an elementary thing, known to many as the Steinmeier formula, could not be put in writing for two and a half years already,” Lavrov observed.
However, he added that during his visits to Berlin and Paris last week, Germany and France actively promoted the idea of holding another summit.
At the last Normandy Format meeting in October 2016, agreements were reached to separate the participants’ forces and equipment at the Petrivske, Zolote and Stanytsia Luhanska settlements. At Stanytsia Luhanska, the separation has still not taken place, due to repeated breaches of the withdrawal by militant forces.
Previously, on July 11, the foreign ministers of the Normandy Format countries met in Berlin. At the four and a half hour session, the diplomats from Ukraine, France, Germany and Russia discussed the deployment of a UN peacekeeping contingent in the Donbas for the first time.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on May 10 that he had agreed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to take steps to prepare another Normandy Format session, which would most likely be held in Paris. However, as things currently stand, such a meeting has not yet taken place.