To peacemakers far. The outcomes of the Norman meeting

До миротворцев далеко. Итоги нормандской встречи

Representatives of the countries “Norman Quartet” met for the first time in a year and a half and four and a half hours discussing the prospects for a peaceful settlement in the Donbass.

The cease-fire, withdrawal of troops, the Minsk process and peacekeepers in Berlin at the meeting of foreign Ministers of countries “Channel four” discussed the traditional Donbass questions.

It was the first meeting of Ministers after the elections in Germany and France. But the General result is the same – agreed to negotiate. more versed in the outcomes of the Norman meeting.

What about peacekeepers?

Following the meeting, the Minister of foreign Affairs of France Jean-Yves Le Drian said Paris will work on forming a peacekeeping mission in Eastern Ukraine, but first you need to achieve success in the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

“You need to succeed in the process of implementation of the Minsk agreements, after which you can consider a peacekeeping operation”, – he said at a press conference following the meeting.

Le Drian said that you first need to achieve peace and then to think how to support it. Speaking of a possible international peacekeeping mission, the Minister expressed the view that “you can find common ground in the parameters”.

“We are ready to work on possible options for the UN mission in the East of Ukraine, when this will allow the implementation of the Minsk agreements”, – he added.

Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin said that Ukraine’s position and Moscow on the UN peacekeeping forces are very different.

“The initial position of the Russian Federation actually worse, and it is not about geography. Russia says that future peacekeepers can accompany – and I emphasize – only to accompany the observation mission of the OSCE and along the line of contact, and in the occupied territory, but they are not able to do anything else,” said the Minister.

“Our position is that peacekeepers should come from all the occupied territory. Of course, they cannot immediately be accommodated in all places from the very beginning. It will be stage-by-stage approach”, – said Klimkin.

“But they have to get a real mandate, mandate, impact, the mandate of the disarmament mandate of the OSCE joint control over the withdrawal of heavy weapons in the search of heavy weapons, which is hidden”, – he stressed.

The Ukrainian Minister said that the foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov acknowledged the need for negotiations on the deployment of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbas.

The issue of political prisoners

The parties first raised the issue of release of Ukrainian political prisoners of Russia. Lavrov said that the Ukrainian Ombudsman Lyudmila Denisova will have access to those Ukrainians who are behind bars.

“But the real goal is to release all” – said Klimkin. During the meeting, he called specific names, in particular Oleg Sentsov, Vladimir Baloga, political prisoners who are starving, who is in a serious condition.

“It is very important that Heiko (German foreign Minister Maas), Jean-Yves (the French foreign Minister Le Drian) after meeting with the families of our political prisoners and hostages received a very special emotion. And so today we were together, squashing Lavrov, saying that Russia does not want to pick up his Russian, doesn’t want to talk about exchanges, does not really want to complete the exchange in the Donbass, does not want to start along with the Red Cross to search for those who disappeared in the Donbas. And in the end even Lavrov admitted that this is not a political issue,” – said Klimkin.


France and Germany ready to assist in mine clearing in the conflict zone in Eastern Ukraine. “France and Germany have offered to participate in mine clearance and the allocation of funds, as well as providing expert advice,” – said the Minister of foreign Affairs of France Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Le Drian also noted the need for greater protection of civilian objects.

“Basic civil infrastructure such as filtration station in Donetsk, should be better protected. The decision to be taken in the case of this station, may further be used as a model for security and many other facilities,” he said.

Foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Maas stressed the need for “unimpeded access of observers of the OSCE mission”.

“We had a very detailed and constructive dialogue, discussed actions in the humanitarian sphere, which will ensure the needs of the people, this includes an exchange of prisoners,” – said the head of the German foreign Ministry.

According to him, the sides agreed to continue to hold the expert consultation “channel four” on the “formulas Steinmeier”. Although the Russian side before the talks are going to require consolidation of this formula the order of execution of the Minsk agreements as a separate document.

The position of the Russian Federation

Sergey Lavrov said that such meetings are useful. “First of all, talked about what was agreed by our leaders. This separation of powers in the three pilot areas that the four countries ‘ leaders personally on the map marked, and the second execution of the same formula Steinmeier,” – said Lavrov.

“Certainly, we are unable to solve all the problems associated with the implementation of the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, but I believe that this meeting was very useful,” – said the Russian Minister.

Channel four tired?

The Norman Quartet talks in Berlin are the total reflection of the fatigue parties, said political analyst Taras Berezovets. The expert notes that for the first 16 months of the meeting, which is expected with impatience, and did not bring any sensations.

“In fact, the sides are even. Ukraine, Germany and France are set up on a full-fledged peacekeeping operation in the Donbas under the aegis of the UN, Russia agree on the dwarf mission, which is to function as bodyguards against international observers. Formula Steinmeier cherished and promoted by the Russians, but the new Minister of foreign Affairs of Germany Heiko Maas seems to have cooled down to it”? – says Berezovets.

In his opinion, hopes for a big breakthrough soon no because you can only rely on local progress.