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Ukrainian President’s Office Briefs on Normandy Format Meeting

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A meeting of political advisers to the leaders of the Normandy format countries took place in Germany. The Ukrainian delegation was led by Head of the President’s Office Andriy Yermak.

The consultations lasted more than six hours, the press service of the President’s Office reported following the meeting.

“The parties touched upon all issues on the agenda, from security to humanitarian ones. The discussion was complicated but constructive. All parties noted the importance of adhering to the ceasefire in Donbas. During the meeting, the Ukrainian side focused on security issues and the need to strengthen the security component of the agreements,” the statement reads.

Yermak did not disclose details of the talks, noting that “the dialogue continues, and the discussion goes on.”

A break has been announced in the talks. Consultations at the level of political advisers are scheduled for Friday, 22 January.

At the same time, Deputy Head of the Russian Presidential Administration Dmitry Kozak told reporters that “there is nothing to boast about” within the framework of the Normandy Four talks. According to him, Moscow, Kyiv, Berlin and Paris exchanged views “on all fundamental issues” related to the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

“We failed to find final solutions. We agreed that new fundamental approaches to the formation of a roadmap in the Trilateral Contact Group for a comprehensive settlement of the conflict will be prepared,” Kozak said.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian social networks are spreading rumours that the main topic of negotiations between Kozak and Yermak in Berlin was not Donbas at all. Allegedly informed sources in the Office of the President of Ukraine claim that the parties discussed the resumption of Russian-Ukrainian energy cooperation. In particular, they spoke about the possibility of purchasing gas directly from Russia which would reduce the gas price for Ukrainian consumers by about 30%.

As a reminder, the previous meeting of political advisers to the leaders of the Normandy format countries (Ukraine, France, Germany, and Russia) was held in Berlin on 11 September 2020.

Bohdan Marusyak

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