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MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. The Kremlin is not ruling out that a telephone conversation in the Normandy format (Russia, France, Germany, Ukraine) may be expected before the New Year.
"We do not rule out that the telephone contacts may take place before the New Year, such a possibility is being discussed," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.
Peskov earlier said the sides needed to "synchronise watches" on the implementation of the Minsk peace agreements on Ukraine as the deadline formally expires on January 1, 2016.
According to the spokesman, the appointment of Boris Gryzlov as Moscow’s special envoy to the Contact Group on Ukraine has raised the level and showed strengthening Russian presence at the negotiations.
Peskov said that Gryzlov was appointed as Moscow’s special envoy to the Contact Group "on the president’s initiative." "This significantly raises the level and demonstratively strengthens our responsible presence in the work of the Contact Group," the Kremlin spokesman stressed. He added that the implementation of the Minsk Agreements is in a "rather poor state."
Peskov noted that Gryzlov, as a permanent member of the Russian Security Council, actively participated in the work of the group. "This is especially important as permanent members of (Russia’s) Security Council are people who participate directly and on a regular basis in the process of discussing main vectors of policy, development of these main vectors and their implementation," he stressed. That is why "Gryzlov’s involvement in these processes was maximum, just like of all other permanent members of the Security Council," Peskov concluded.