Ukraine – Statement by Jean-Yves le Drian – Video conference of Foreign Ministers in the Normandy Format (30 Apr. 2020)

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Today I joined my German, Russian and Ukrainian counterparts for a video conference of foreign ministers in the Normandy Format. This was the first high-level Normandy Format meeting since the summit held in Paris on December 9, 2019. We reviewed the implementation of the conclusions agreed to at the Paris Summit and discussed the urgent measures made necessary by the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic in eastern Ukraine. The participants agreed to call for the implementation of a comprehensive ceasefire between the parties and to urge the Trilateral Contact Group to move forward in this direction. My German counterpart and I reiterated the need for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to have safe and secure access throughout Ukraine in order to fully carry out its mandate. We want to see special attention paid to the fate of local populations, who have been particularly hard hit by the closing of the line of contact, and to the security of sensitive infrastructures. Access by humanitarian organizations must be facilitated to enable them to provide all required assistance to these populations. We also expressed our desire to see swift progress on mine clearance, especially near areas most frequently visited by civilian populations. We agreed to continue our discussions in this format in the coming weeks.

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