Q: Do you think that yesterday’s agreement on the Steinmeier formula paves the way for a Normandy format summit in the next few weeks?
A: The constructive atmosphere of the discussions involving Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE and the representatives of the non-government-controlled areas of Donbas within the “Contact Group,” which met yesterday in Belarus, allowed significant progress to be made in the implementation of the Minsk accords. The conditions for the entry into force of the future status of the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk were specified and the withdrawal of armed forces from three pilot areas were agreed upon by the parties.
France welcomes this progress, which was facilitated by the intense negotiations conducted over the last few weeks within the so-called Normandy format between France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia. The conditions have now been met for the forthcoming meeting of heads of state and government in the Normandy format aimed at making progress toward a lasting settlement of the conflict in Ukraine.