The summit in the Normandy format meeting scheduled on December 9 in Paris, should promote the implementation of the Minsk agreements. This opinion was expressed by the presidents of Russia and France Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel macron in the course of telephone conversations. According to the head of the Russian foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Moscow hopes that Paris and Berlin will help to convince the Ukrainian side in the “no alternative” to the Minsk agreements. However, the press Secretary of Vladimir Putin Dmitry Peskov urged not to raise expectations from the meeting, despite its importance.
AFP © Kenzo TRIBOUILLARDПрезидент of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of France Emmanuel Makron in a telephone conversation on 18 November discussed the summit in the Normandy format.
“The focus is on the situation in Ukraine, subject to the preparation is scheduled for December 9 at the Paris summit in the Normandy format. Both sides stressed that the holding of such a meeting should really contribute to the speedy and full implementation of the Minsk agreements”, — said in a statement on the Kremlin website.Earlier, the press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov confirmed the imminent negotiations in the Normandy format with participation of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany. About the upcoming meeting, reported the Elysee Palace.”The Normandy format is planned for 9 December, it is true, training is conducted and has entered the final stage,” — said Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
The representative of the Russian President urged not to overstate or understate expectations from the meeting, noting, however, that it is an important and “welcome”. In turn, Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that “conditions are ripe” for carrying out of such summit.
Normandy format talks on Ukraine appeared in June 2014 when on the sidelines of the summit, dedicated to the anniversary of the allied landings in Normandy, met Vladimir Putin, Petro Poroshenko, Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel. They discussed settlement of the conflict in the Donbass.
The last time the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France met over three years ago — October 19, 2016. Then a key theme of the summit was the implementation of the Minsk agreements. However, due to the fact that the President Petro Poroshenko sabotaged their implementation, this negotiation format was paused.
“There is no alternative”
The conditions for the defrost channel format appeared after coming to power in Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky. Kiev expressed readiness to meet and have expressed the desire to resolve the situation in the Donbass.
On 1 October, Ukraine’s representative at the talks in Minsk ex-President Leonid Kuchma agreed on a formula Steinmeier, which defines the mechanism of granting special status to Donbass. Ukraine also agreed to begin disengagement from settlements Petrovsky and gold. The German foreign Ministry said then that the door to the meeting in Norman format “open”.
Breeding forces in the Donbas RIA Novosti © Sergey Everynody to carry out the removal of equipment and heavy weapons in both localities was only on 12 November. Several times the Ukrainian side was sabotaging the process. As he tried to intervene, the parties to nationalist groups, and in Kiev the nationalists and the ex-President Petro Poroshenko organized protests, simultaneously accusing Vladimir Zelensky betrayal.Ambiguous was the position of the Ukrainian Ministry of foreign Affairs. So, the Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vadim Pristayko 14 November announced the possibility of entering Kiev from the Minsk agreements. 18 Nov Pristayko made another loud statement: if the Minsk agreements are not implemented in the Donbass possible a kind of “peacekeeping operation”. He also said that you can refuse some points of the Minsk agreements and to restate them.
In turn, the Plenipotentiary of Russia at negotiations of the contact group in Minsk, Boris Gryzlov, urged Ukraine “to refrain from possible statements and actions that have a provocative character,” and said that Kyiv should not hope for a revision of the Minsk agreements.
According to the Director of the Kiev center for political and conflict studies Mikhail Pogrebinsky, the statements of the head of the Ukrainian foreign Ministry may be aimed at preparing public opinion to the fact that Kiev can not fulfill the letter of the Minsk agreements.
“This is due to the fact that the new government has come, and the “westernized” concept of the Ukrainian state, wanting to be part of NATO and the EU have not changed — said in an interview with RT Pogrebinsky. And so any terms that assume that the Donbass can be a part of Ukraine, but do not correspond to the course of Kiev for the Ukrainian authorities is unacceptable.”In turn, Director of the progressive policy Oleg Bondarenko, in conversation with RT suggested that due to the unconstructive position of the Ukrainian side remains the likelihood that the meeting in Paris may cancel at the last moment or to postpone to a later date.
“Kiev offers to meet, and then invent some another alternative to the Minsk agreements, which in fact is no alternative. Ukrainian authorities just need to admit it: either to forget about the Donbass, or to assume that the only option the normalization of the situation in the East of the country, and between Russia and Ukraine is the implementation of the Minsk agreements”, — said in an interview with RT Bondarenko.
Meanwhile, a source in the party RT “servant of the people” said that such statements by the Ukrainian foreign Ministry is trying to “strengthen the position” of Vladimir Zelensky on the eve of talks in Paris.
“Ukraine is not profitable to withdraw from the Minsk agreements, as this will complicate the process of conflict resolution, in addition, Kiev also condemn the EU and US. On the other hand, Zelensky is not much room for maneuver, since it will push Merkel and the macron, which are interested in that conflict was resolved,” — said the source RT.
“The Foundation law”
On November 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking at a press conference on the results of the BRICS summit in Brazil, said that if the law on the special status of Donbass (expires on 31 December 2019. — RT) is not renewed, and discuss in Normandy format will be nothing.
“The 31st is the deadline, then what? Which we will discuss in the Normandy format? This is a key issue,” Putin said.In turn, Dmitry Peskov, on 17 November, called the law on the special status of Donbass “cornerstones”, but noted that the renewal of the Ukrainian authorities should discuss with the authorities of the republics of Donbass, which is problematic due to the lack of direct contacts between the conflicting parties.
The Ukrainian side, in turn, is extend the existing law on the status of Donbass said about the preparation of new rules, but no details about this Kiev has not yet announced.
Earlier in the presidential party “servant of the people” said that the new law on the status of Donbass will not be provisions for a General Amnesty for participants of hostilities in the South-East of the country and the people’s militia in the territories of separate districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions (ORDA). In addition, in October in the office of Leonid Kuchma noted that Ukraine will begin implementation of the political part of Minsk agreements only after the dissolution of the DNI and LC.
In turn, Dmitry Pristayko, who spoke earlier about the need to abandon the General Amnesty and “special status” for Donbas, November 18, in an interview to “RBC-Ukraine” declared that the provisions of the act will be drafted in ORDA.
The Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vadim pristayko RIA Novostiukraine, the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Dmitry Razumkov stated the need to adopt a new law before the end of this year. However, according to him, the contents of the document will depend on what the outcome of the meeting in the Normandy format.
“I hope that the Ministry of foreign Affairs shares the position of President and Parliament, the writing of this bill will occur after the Normandy meeting”, said the Razumkov at a briefing on November 18.
In the interests of Europe
As noted on November 18 Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov, Russia expects that France and Germany will have an impact on Ukraine, to take additional measures to implement the Minsk agreements.
“We hope that they use their relations with official Kiev in order to realize the unambiguousness of the motion is in the direction of
full implementation of the Minsk package of measures” — quoted Lavrov TASS.
According to Mikhail Pogrebinsky, for the remainder of the negotiations, Paris and Berlin can really make the position of Ukraine “more constructive”.
“Now, apparently, macron and German foreign Minister will hold talks with Kiev in order to start implementing their commitments under the Minsk agreements in the political part”, — the expert believes.
In turn Oleg Bondarenko reminded that Brussels linked the implementation of the Minsk agreements with the issue of sanctions against Russia.
“All want to achieve peace. And Europe is the issue of extending or lifting sanctions on Russia, which, as everyone knows, are not working properly. So need something nice to get out of this story. And this is possible only if the parties admit that all concessions, executed agreement, and the Minsk agreements are implemented gradually,” — says Bondarenko.
Sources RT in Ukrainian political circles say that the meeting in Normandy format to Zelensky carries large political risks: the President plans to propose stringent, but it is almost never ready to compromise.
“One of the main requirements of the President to eliminate the self-proclaimed republics DNR and LC, and at this stage could be in trouble,” predicts the source RT in the Ukrainian foreign Ministry.In turn, the source RT in the party “the Voice” believes that Zelensky is not ready for talks in Normandy format.
Vladimir Zelensky Reuters © Ints Kalnins”he, most likely, will demand to hold direct talks with leaders of the breakaway republics. And this “red line” for the Ukrainian delegation, to cross which is forbidden” — says the Deputy.The source RT in the party “Fatherland” believes that the meeting in Normandy format may create domestic problems for the Ukrainian leader.
“Imagine Zelensky shake hands with Vladimir Putin. This will immediately trigger a hysteria in the Ukrainian society. I’m not talking about if the President will have to make concessions. The process of implementing all the promises in life can be much harder than expects, his administration”, — says the source RT.
According to Oleg Bondarenko, although the meeting in the Normandy format could be an important step for the peace process in the Donbass, however, it is unlikely to dramatically affect the situation.
“For one meeting it is unlikely that it can be changed. I would not overestimate. No policy decisions, it will not be”, — said Bondarenko.Mikhail Pogrebinsky expects the main outcome of the talks in Normandy format will likely be only that the parties “clearly outline their positions”. He admits that the parties agree on the disengagement of Ukraine and Republic of Donbass on the line of contact. Earlier this term, said Vladimir Putin.
“For example, the Ukrainian side in the face Zelensky will understand that it is not ready to vote for a special status during the Amnesty, but is ready to move in this direction, to prepare the Parliament, public opinion. And while it will be possible to agree on the disengagement along the line of contact. I think it will also be a result”, — says Pogrebinsky.Alexander Bovdunov, Elizaveta Komarova, Elena Onischuk