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Next Normandy Four Summit Set for Dec. 9 in Paris, To Seek End to Fighting in East Ukraine

Nov. 16, 2019 (EIRNS)—The French Presidency announced yesterday that the next Normandy Four summit of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France will take place on Dec. 9 in Paris. “A summit in the Normandy format will be held on Monday, Dec. 9. It will bring together in Paris the heads of state and government of France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine,” a presidential administration spokesman told TASS on Nov. 15. “Plans for such a summit were discussed by the French and Russian Presidents at their meeting in Fort de Brégançon on Aug. 19,” he said, and mentioning that the topic had been also addressed at the G7 summit in Biarritz.

The summit will take place on the background of “considerable progress at the talks” reached this summer that has made it possible to “ensure disengagement of forces in a number of zones of conflict along the contact line” in east Ukraine, he said. “The summit will open a new stage in the implementation of the Minsk agreements.” The French announcement has been confirmed by both the Ukrainian Presidency and the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Meanwhile, OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger told Le Monde that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has contributed to real progress towards settling the Donbas conflict. “Such a turn of events has become possible after a change of President in Ukraine,” he said, commenting on the disengagement of forces on the Donbas line of contact, reported TASS. “We witness real progress regarding adherence to the ceasefire.”

Greminger stressed, however, that this progress should not be overstated, that the disengagement needs to be extended over the entire 450 km line of contact, and that there still needs to be agreement on what special status will mean for Donbas. The decentralization issue needs to be discussed, he said, along with the conditions for elections on the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. “For this, we need direct political control, which is possible in the course of the so-called Normandy Four summit,” Greminger said.

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