Work is underway to prepare for the next meeting of the leaders of the Normandy format countries (Ukraine, France, Germany and Russia), political advisers to the leaders of the four states will work on April 19 to agree on clusters designed to ensure the implementation of the Minsk agreements for a peaceful settlement of the situation in Donbas, said President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
"I think we are approaching the next meeting of the “Normandy Four". I think it is possible. On April 19 there will be a meeting of advisers of the "Normandy Four". A number of issues will be discussed. First of all, clusters made by the French and German sides will be discussed. There will be additions from Ukraine. These clusters are also considered by Russia. All four countries will prepare appendices to these clusters: what they agree with, what they disagree with,” the Ukrainian President said after the meeting in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who took part in it in a video format.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that the clusters are steps to implement the Minsk agreements, and political advisers will coordinate positions on them.
The President noted that today he discussed with Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel the security situation in eastern Ukraine, the ceasefire, which has been in effect since the end of July 2020 and which has reduced the number of casualties on the line of delimitation.
"Unfortunately, since the beginning of January, we have seen a complication of the situation on the touch line between us and the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, an increase in the number of shots. I told Mr. Macron and then Mrs. Merkel in detail about all these cases, and we talked about it. We see an aggravation of the situation. About 30 Ukrainian servicemen were killed this year alone. Most of them were not killed by accidental shots, as militants or Russian officials say. Most of these killings took place due to sniper fire. All the evidence, video, photos are there, they were handed over by the Ukrainian side, according to the agreements, to the OSCE," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The Head of State discussed with his French counterpart the implementation of the agreements reached at the meeting of the leaders of the "Normandy Four" in December 2019 in Paris.
"Our party fulfills everything step by step. We are people of the word. We have agreed to open the checkpoints - we have opened all checkpoints for humanitarian aid to civilians in the territory of Donbas controlled by the Ukrainian authorities or in the temporarily occupied territory for their movement," the President said.
At the same time, Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that Russia and those who control the occupied territories did not fulfill the agreements, in particular, they did not open the checkpoints on their part and do not allow people to pass.
Also, according to the President of Ukraine, the process of mutual release of detainees has been blocked.
"The second part of the exchange - "all for all" - we have passed the lists to the OSCE. I told Mr. Macron and Mrs. Merkel about it. Russia and the separatists have not provided the OSCE with the lists," he said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed hope that after the meeting of political advisers to the leaders of the Normandy format, the regime of permanent and comprehensive ceasefire will be restored in Donbas.
"The ceasefire initially worked. Now we are waiting for the restoration after the meeting of advisers. This is the state of things that have been done," Volodymyr Zelenskyy summed up.