Ukraine - Q&A from the press briefing (9 December 2020)

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Q: A summit in the so-called Normandy format took place a year ago in Paris on resolving the crisis in eastern Ukraine. What is France’s assessment of the progress made regarding respect for the commitments undertaken by the parties at this meeting? What measures can be taken in the near future? It would also be interesting to know if there are plans to hold further meetings involving the representatives of the four states on this issue.

A: The Normandy format summit in Paris on December 9, 2019, provided an opportunity to relaunch the negotiation process aimed at resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine, after three years of deadlock. The conclusions agreed upon during this meeting constitute an ambitious document that sets out the main guidelines for making progress toward re-establishing Ukraine’s full sovereignty over the Donbas region, on the basis of the Minsk agreements, which the heads of state and government reaffirmed would “continue to form the basis of the work of the Normandy Format.”

One year after the summit, significant progress has been made. For the first time since the packet of measures was signed in 2015, the ceasefire in the region is largely being respected, resulting in a significant decrease in casualties. Likewise, several prisoner exchanges have been made possible, in accordance with the conclusions of the summit. Nevertheless, several provisions have still not been implemented, partly as a result of the health situation. We call on all parties to implement in good faith the commitments to which they have subscribed and to continue the constructive discussions on the agenda agreed upon at the summit.

France, alongside Germany, is continuing its efforts within the Normandy Format to achieve just and lasting peace in eastern Ukraine.