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“Normandy Four” meeting: Cease-fire and Elections Order Revision in Donbas

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The negotiations of the “Normandy Four” leaders’ political advisers are over in Berlin. The seven-hour meeting’s main result, according to President of Ukraine Office head Andriy Yermak, was an agreement to continue the “cease-fire” regime in Donbas.

“I think this is the most important thing that has happened today. This gives hope that the cease-fire regime, which was initiated by the President of Ukraine and lasted for the last six weeks, will be continued. We hope for this very much and will do our best to implement this. We make all the efforts to save the lives and health of our soldiers, our people. Yes, no specific deadlines have been agreed, but… everything indicates that the process is moving forward. I am sure that this summit will take place, although, unfortunately, I cannot name a specific date today. I hope it will take place by the end of this year,” Yermak said.

He also said that during the meeting the delegation discussed almost all the points related to the agreements reached by the “Normandy Four” leaders in Paris: security and political issues, access for the Red Cross, and the detainees release.

The President of Ukraine Office Head expressed hope that the next meeting of advisers will take place during the coming weeks. Until then, the assistants and consultants will join the work.

At the same time, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Dmitry Kozak said after the meeting that the Ukrainian side had agreed to revise the Verkhovna Rada resolution on calling local elections in Ukraine.

“There are no breakthroughs. Unfortunately, I cannot boast that the agreed solutions have been reached on all issues. You know that the stumbling block is Ukraine’s firm position – I mean the number of votes in the Ukrainian parliament – to move away from the Minsk agreements. It was agreed that Verkhovna Rada considers a resolution that corrects those one accepted on 15 July soon,” Kozak said.

Meanwhile, the head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Tripartite Contact Group on Donbas, Leonid Kravchuk, noted that the implementation of the Minsk agreements is currently impossible due to the different positions of Ukraine and the Russian Federation regarding the order of local elections in Donbas. According to the first Ukrainian president, the way out of the current situation should be sought  at the “Normandy Four” leaders meeting.

“I believe this issue needs to be resolved under appropriate conditions and during such meetings. Only at this level, I do not see another option,” Kravchuk added.

Bohdan Marusyak

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