A meeting of political advisers to the leaders of the Normandy format attended by Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak ended in Paris. As a result of the event, the parties agreed on a joint communiqué and the next meeting in two weeks in Berlin.
The talks lasted more than eight hours.
In a statement, representatives of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia stressed that they weге committed to reduce current disagreements in order to advance the negotiation process.
The advisors stated that they supported unconditional observance of the ceasefire regime agreed on July 22, 2020 regardless of differences on other issues of the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
“The parties also discussed the importance for the TCG and its working groups to intensify their work with а view of swift progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements,” the joint ccommuniqué reads.
The First Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group MP Andriy Kostin who also took part in the meeting of advisors noted that the conciseness of the joint communiqué showed that the talks were not easy, but the parties tried to find common ground.
"The very fact that the Normandy format has resumed work is already a very positive signal. A very meaningful and difficult conversation took place today - a kind of audit of the implementation of both the Minsk agreements and the agreements of the leaders of the Normandy format from 2019," Andriy Yermak said in a comment to the media after the talks in Paris.
The Head of the President's Office stressed that the communiqué adopted as a result of the meeting is the first document agreed upon since the summit of the leaders of the Normandy Four in December 2019.
According to him, the parties have many differences concerning the implementation of the Minsk agreements, but there is a willingness to move forward in the negotiation process.
"Today our discussion was about the war in Donbas, the Minsk agreements and the issues considered in the Normandy format. But I have stated quite clearly that today we expect de-escalation not only in relation to the occupied territories, but also around the Ukrainian borders in general," Andriy Yermak said.
He stressed that the joint statement on the need to comply with the ceasefire is a small step forward.
The Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine expressed hope that a constructive discussion would also take place in two weeks in Berlin yielding results.
"The work continues, Ukraine, as always, is ready for negotiations, for meetings 24/7, because for us, for President Zelenskyy, for the whole team, the goal is to end the war, return our territories. And today the goal is also a de-escalation around Ukraine's borders," Andriy Yermak summed up.