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December 12, 2020

Minsk Agreement Normandy Format

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mark Baker @ 8:41 pm

President Wolodymyr Zelenskyy has arrived in Paris, overwhelmed by declining popularity and political rivalry with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Poroshenko, during the presidency of which the Minsk Memorandum and the Minsk Protocols were signed, now calls for these agreements not to be implemented and declares that this would be a capitulation to Russia. By questioning Zelenskyy`s authority, Poroshenko appears to be using against the new president certain tactics that Saakashvili used against him in 2017, in the hope of consolidating various opposition parliamentary parties and radical groups and becoming their new leader. Faced with a large hostile crowd, gathered in central Kiev, near his office, to express his support for Ukraine`s sovereignty and independence and to deplore a possible agreement with Russia, President Zelenskyy opposed Putin in Paris. As a reminder, Russia is awaiting the official comment of the Ukrainian authorities on the statement made in Minsk on the need to revise the Minsk agreements. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also said that Kiev had rejected the agreements reached at a meeting of political advisers in Berlin at the trilateral contact group meeting. First, political communication between Kiev and Moscow has been revived after being suspended since November 2016. This was the first personal meeting between President Zelenskyy and President Putin. The leaders of the two warring nations had the chance to begin resolving the conflict.

Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin, the “old cars” of the Normandy talks, are now starting negotiations with new participants in the French and Ukrainian leaders. This meeting thus seemed to mark the beginning of the new period of improved communication in a format that proved effective in avoiding an escalation of conflicts. In a joint statement on the same day, the heads of state and government of the Normandy countries expressed their support for all the measures and reaffirmed “their full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.” To do so, they agreed, among other things, to set up a monitoring mechanism in the Normandy format. It meets periodically at the level of senior officials of foreign ministries. Ukraine supported the German party`s proposal to organize the work of expert groups of advisers for the leaders of the countries participating in Normandy in order to speed up this process.

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