Normandy Four reaffirms commitment to dialogue over Ukraine situation

The leaders of France, Russia, Ukraine and Germany signed a statement following their Paris meeting on resolving the Donbass conflict. The four reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements and a comprehensive ceasefire, as well as to incorporating the Steinmeier Formula into Ukrainian legislation, Vedomosti notes.

Senior Researcher at the Russian State University for the Humanities’ Department of Post-Soviet Countries Alexander Gushchin told the newspaper that expectations for a great breakthrough had not come true as the parties only “agreed to make agreements.” “The most important thing is that it wasn’t a total failure,” Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) Andrey Kortunov emphasized.

The statement signed by the four leaders will not help rapidly resolve the conflict but it does point to some progress, envoy of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LRP) to the Contact Group’s political subgroup Rodion Miroshnik told Izvestia. According to him, the Normandy Four leaders achieved their main goal by confirming that there is no alternative to the Minsk Agreements. At the same time, Paris, Berlin and Moscow refused to accept a number of ideas put forward by Kiev.

Member of Ukraine’s “Opposition Platform – For Life” party Ilya Kiva pointed out that the Paris summit had shown the way out of an impasse and marked the launch of dialogue between Kiev and Moscow. “We have embarked on the right path. There will be many issues ahead and a long search for compromises,” Kiva noted.

Not even a small step to reintegrate Donbass based on the Minsk Agreements has been made because the current Ukrainian authorities continue to pursue the policy of the previous Poroshenko government, Director of the Kiev Center for Political Studies and Conflictology Mikhail Pogrebinsky said. However, the summit was a success in itself as “there was a need to end the standstill in talks,” the expert added.