Ukraine, Russia meet for Normandy format summit. Agree to stabilization.
Good vibes began 6 December with OSCE
In the wake of an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) conference on 6 December, the leaders of Russia and Ukraine joined the leaders of France and Germany for talks in Paris on Monday.
The conclusion of the talks on 6 December paved the way for a positive Ukraine/Russia Summit on Monday.
“The future in respect of Ukraine also looks brighter now than it did last year”, said the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Miroslav Lajčák on 6 December.
“Hopefully we will see strong political commitment at next week’s Normandy Summit. I am glad we can conclude this Ministerial Council knowing that the OSCE’s political representation on the ground is secure. Here, I want to again congratulate Ambassador Heidi Grau on her appointment as the OSCE Chairperson’s new Special Representative in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group and to thank Ambassador Martin Sajdik for his dedication these past years.”
Miroslav Lajčák predicted well: The Normandy Summit was a success.
Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Zelensky, President of Ukraine, the Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, and the Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany met in Paris Monday in what has come to be known as the Normandy format for summits.
According to a statement issued by the Kremlin, Russia and the Ukraine agree to “immediate measures to stabilize the situation in the conflict area“.
According to a joint statement from Russia and Ukraine:
- The sides commit to a full and comprehensive implementation of the ceasefire, strengthened by the implementation of all necessary ceasefire support measures, before the end of the year 2019.
- They will support the development and implementation of an updated demining plan, on the basis of the decision of the Trilateral Contact Group on demining activities, dated March 3, 2016.
- They 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.
- They encourage the Trilateral Contact Group to facilitate the release and exchange of conflict-related detainees by the end of the year, based on the principle of ”all for all“, starting with ”all identified for all identified“, with the understanding that international organisations including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) be granted full and unconditional access to all detained persons.
- They will support an agreement within the Trilateral Contact Group, within 30 days, on new crossing points along the line of contact, based primarily on humanitarian criteria.
- They recall that the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) should be able to use all possibilities of the 21 March 2014 mandate, and have safe and secure access throughout Ukraine in order to fully implement its mandate.
- The sides express interest in agreeing within the Normandy format (N4) and the Trilateral Contact Group on all the legal aspects of the Special Order of Local Self-Government – special status – of Certain Areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions – as outlined in the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements from 2015 – in order to ensure its functioning on a permanent basis.
- They consider it necessary to incorporate the ”Steinmeier formula“ into the Ukrainian legislation, in accordance with the version agreed upon within the N4 and the Trilateral Contact Group. *** The Minsk agreements (Minsk Protocol of 5 September 2014, Minsk Memorandum of 19 September 2014 and the Minsk Package of Measures of 12 February 2015) continue to be the basis of the work of the Normandy format whose member states are committed to their full implementation.
Leading up to the Summit, Donetsk was slightly calmer, but no cigars, yet.
Recent hotspots in Donetsk region of Ukraine leading up to Russia/Ukraine Paris talks 9 Dec. 2019. In Donetsk region, between the evenings of 6 and 7 December, the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) recorded fewer ceasefire violations, including, however, a similar number of explosions (about 150), compared with the previous reporting period. Read this important report if you wish: 2019-12-09 SMM Daily Report