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Normandy Four agree to implement ceasefire in Donbass by 2020

Politics 10.12.2019 | 12:16
Photo courtesy of TASS
Photo courtesy of TASS

MINSK, 10 December (BelTA) – The participants of the Normandy Four summit in Paris have agreed to implement a full and comprehensive ceasefire in eastern Ukraine before the end of 2019, reads the Normandy Summit communique passed by the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine after the talks in France's Elysee Palace, TASS informs.

The participants of the meeting called for a change in Ukraine's constitution in line with the "Steinmeier formula". They also agreed on a big prisoner swap by 31 December 2019. The final communique also states that the Minsk agreements continue to be the basis of the work of the Normandy format. The document also reads that the parties will support an agreement within the Trilateral Contact Group on three additional disengagement areas, with the aim of disengaging forces and equipment by the end of March 2020.

At a press conference after the talks French President Emmanuel Macron said that the Normandy format meeting was fruitful. He noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's leader Volodymyr Zelensky met face to face for the first time. In addition to the 10-minute one-on-one meeting, there was an hour long meeting attended by members of their delegations. It was noted that Crimea was not on the agenda of the talks. Speaking about the rights of Russian-speaking people in Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky said that he does not see any problem with using the Russian language in Ukraine and he called himself a Russian speaker and a Russian-speaking president.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel noted that the parties managed to break the impasse in the Donbass peace process. Vladimir Putin said that “things are going in the right direction.”

The leaders agreed to meet in four months' time. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the next summit will take place in Berlin.

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