Minsk, February 12, 2015
A week ago, the Chancellor and I took an initiative to find a solution to this over-long Ukrainian conflict. So we had the idea of first going to Kiev, then Moscow, and finally meeting again in the Normandy format here in Minsk. It was a long night and also a long morning, but we reached an agreement on a ceasefire and on a comprehensive political settlement to this Ukrainian conflict.
The ceasefire will take effect at midnight on [the night of 14-] 15 February. The comprehensive settlement will relate to all the issues, from the ceasefire to the end, the control of the border, including decentralization, the withdrawal of heavy weapons, of course, and also the resumption of economic relations. All the issues were dealt with in this text, which was signed by the contact group and by the separatists.
The Chancellor and I pledged, along with President Poroshenko and President Putin, to verify the implementation of this process, i.e. the comprehensive political settlement. I want to pay tribute to all the efforts made over these long hours, and in particular to President Poroshenko, who fully committed his country to settling this conflict, and also President Putin, who exerted as much pressure as was necessary on the separatists.
I particularly want to highlight the Chancellor’s role and the way France and Germany’s approaches complemented each other in this process, which allows Europe also to be fully committed.
This afternoon, we shall be at the European Council. We shall report on the mission we carried out. With President Poroshenko, we shall ensure that Europe itself can support the process. It provides serious hope for Ukraine, even though not everything has been accomplished yet. It’s also a relief for Europe. It’s a fine example of what Germany and France are capable of doing for peace./.