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29 Nov 2016

Minsk gearing up for Normandy Four ministerial meeting

MINSK, 29 November (BelTA) – The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Normandy Four (Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France) will take place in Minsk on 29 November.

The proposal to hold the meeting in the Belarusian capital was announced last week. “In case the parties make such a decision, Belarus is ready to provide all the necessary conditions for such a meeting in Minsk,” spokesman for the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Mironchik told BelTA on 23 November.

Mass media later confirmed the intention for the Normandy Four ministerial meeting in Minsk on 29 November.

“We consider the meeting as the next joint step to reach peaceful settlement and add additional impetus to it. This meeting is set to support security, humanitarian and economic efforts and also advance a package of political reforms,” said the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin emphasized Ukraine’s intention to present its roadmap on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. The main focus will be on security and humanitarian issues.

As BelTA earlier reported, on 19 October Berlin played host to the meeting of the Normandy Four presidents: Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. No documents were signed at the end of the meeting. The parties, however, agreed to draw up a roadmap, which, as Angela Merkel told a press conference, should be prepared and submitted for discussion within the ongoing month.

“The participants of today’s meeting confirmed that the Minsk Accord should play the key role in regulating the situation in the southeast of Ukraine and reaffirmed their commitment to the Agreements,” Vladimir Putin told the media. The other parties to the talks spoke in the same vein.

In February 2015 Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Petro Poroshenko spent 17 hours in talks in Minsk. The negotiations resulted in the development of the Minsk Agreements, the basis for a peaceful regulation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The relevant matters are regularly discussed by the Contact Group on Ukraine in the Belarusian capital.

The time and place for the Normandy Four ministerial meeting in Minsk have not been yet given.

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