Normandy Quartet summit in Paris: will conflict in Ukraine be resolved?

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PARIS – Ukraine has announced the plan for reintegration of Donbass and Crimea into the territory of the country. Political expert Vladimir Dzharalla explained what this plan says about Kiev’s negotiating position.

The first summit of the “Normandy format”, attended by the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and France, as well as the German chancellor, will take place on Monday in Paris.

The scenario for Donbass’s reintegration is a diplomatic agreement, said Ukrainian Prime Minister Aleksei Goncharuk.

“Plan A is to resolve the conflict through diplomacy in order to move towards peace while defending national interests. There can in principle be no compromise in rejecting territorial integrity, sovereignty. Crimea and Donbass they are Ukrainian territories, and Ukrainians live there,” said the prime minister on the air of TV channel 1 + 1.

Political expert Vladimir Dzharalla suggested that this statement describes Kiev’s position on the eve of the Normandy-shaped summit.

“Undoubtedly, this is a positive trend. Ukrainian politicians, on the one hand, continue to try to flirt with nationalists, but on the other hand give clear signs that they are ready for negotiations. It is obvious that [the Ukrainian president Vladimir] Zelensky, who will be negotiating with serious actors for the first time, will try to prove that he is a world-class politician,” commented Dzharalla.

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European Union expectations

The EU looks forward to progress at the Normandy Quartet summit, and considers peaceful and sustainable resolution of the Ukrainian crisis as one of its priorities, the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell said on Monday.

“We hope that at this meeting we will be able to continue work and move towards a peaceful and sustainable resolution of the Ukrainian conflict. This is one of the most important priorities we have to address in the EU,” he told reporters in Brussels before the meeting with the ministers of the EU Foreign Relations.

Conversation History

The so-called “Normandy format” (Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany) of talks between heads of state, as well as representatives of foreign ministries of these countries, has been in place since June 2014. At that time, during the 70th anniversary celebration of the Allied landings in Normandy, the leaders of these countries first discussed the resolution of the Donbass conflict.

In February 2015, the Normandy Quartet signed the Minsk agreements providing for a ceasefire and reconciliation between the parties. However the shootings continue, and Kiev has not yet applied the political part of the agreements.

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