France’s position on the situation in Ukraine

Aim: the implementation of the Minsk agreements

Commitments were made in Minsk in September 2014 to support a settlement of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, by representatives of Ukraine, Russia, separatist movements and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). A package of measures aimed at implementing those commitments was adopted in Minsk on 12 February 2015 in Normandy format, which brings together France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine.

MINSK PACKAGE OF MEASURES OF 12 FEBRUARY 2015 (“MINSK II”)

Package of Measures for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements sets down the sequence for settling the conflict. The spirit of the agreement is to move forward together, without preconditions, to improve the situation on the ground and the political process aimed at reintegrating separatist areas within Ukrainian sovereignty under a decentralized model.

The Package of Measures was negotiated in Normandy format by the Heads of State and Government, who adopted it in a joint declaration. It was signed by the Trilateral Contact Group and the representatives of the two separatist “republics”. United Nations Security Council resolution 2202, adopted on 17 February 2015, called for the full implementation of the Package of Measures.

Method based on firmness and dialogue

France has a policy of firmness and dialogue to move towards a political settlement of the conflict.

  • Firmness: Based on the principle that borders in Europe cannot be changed by force with impunity, the European Union has adopted sanctions aimed at Russian and Crimean organizations, businesses and individuals.
  • Dialogue: During the ceremonies for the 70ᵗʰ anniversary of the Normandy Landings in June 2014, France instigated a meeting with Germany, Ukraine and Russia on the settlement of the conflict. Since then, numerous meetings have taken place between Foreign Ministers in this “Normandy” format, and weekly telephone calls are held at the highest level.

A commitment to solidarity

France has been providing assistance to Ukraine since 2014 in a number of areas, with a total value of €2.7 million. It has included emergency humanitarian and medical aid, assistance for displaced persons, and support for reforms. It is fully committed to support for Ukraine provided in the European framework. France has granted support of €200,000 in order to provide food assistance in Zaporozhye Oblast. In 2016, France also funded a food security project in Donetsk Oblast, in the rural areas of the front line, worth €200,000. This funding will be renewed in 2017 to the sum of €300,000.

This solidarity is also provided within the OSCE framework, in which we took part in election observer missions organized by the Organization’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in 2014. During local elections in late 2015, France provided ODIHR with 25 observers, including five long-term observers and 20 short-term.

SITUATION REPORT – FEBRUARY 2017

Several people have been killed in the resumption of combat in eastern Ukraine in recent days, including in Avdiivka. France calls upon all parties to show restraint, and Russia in particular to make use of its influence over the separatists.

France supports the de-escalation efforts of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) and the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC). We call upon the JCCC to guarantee the access and safety of OSCE observers in Avdiivka and all areas under its competence.

France is also very concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine. We call upon all parties to guarantee the access of civilian populations to water and electricity as quickly as possible.

France remains fully committed to the Minsk agreements in the framework of the Normandy format, which are the only way forward to settle the conflict.

Updated: February 2017

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