Ukraine/Russia/meeting in Normandy format
A meeting on the Ukraine crisis was held in Paris today in the Normandy format (France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine) to discuss prospects regarding the ceasefire and the political process for fully implementing the Minsk agreements.
Ambassador Tagliavini, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, and Ambassador Apakan, Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, took part in the meeting. The meeting is part of the “oversight mechanism” which the Normandy format heads of state and government decided to create in Minsk on 12 February 2015.
Deputy ministers and political directors from the foreign ministries of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine noted Ms Tagliavini’s decision to step down. They paid tribute to her work and expressed the wish that her successor be swiftly appointed by the OSCE Chairmanship in order to ensure proper continuity in the work.
The parties agreed on the following priorities:
- To reaffirm the central role of the Trilateral Contact Group in achieving significant progress within the working groups, whose composition reflects that of the Trilateral Contact Group;
To conclude and implement the de-escalation plan for Shyrokyne;
To support unfettered access by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in order for it to be able to fulfil its mandate, inter alia by putting in place an effective and speedy system of communications on the ground between the SMM and the parties, as well as providing updated information and the means to conduct verification on heavy weapons;
To step up negotiations on the exchange of prisoners in order to achieve concrete results quickly.
They stressed the importance and urgency of humanitarian issues. In this respect, they discussed the role the ICRC can play with regard to the international mechanism provided for in the Package of Measures of 12 February 2015.
They also discussed the timeframe for the involvement of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in the preparation of elections, as provided for the Package of Measures./.