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Russian senator says EU spotlights Syrian conflict over Ukrainian crisis

October 20, 2016, 11:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Talks between the leaders of Russia, Germany and France show that the EU’s emphasis has moved to Syria, according to a lawmaker

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MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. The Syria talks between the leaders of Russia, Germany and France show that the EU’s emphasis has moved to Syria, head of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Committee for International Affairs Konstantin Kosachev said.

"After the Normandy Quartet meeting, separate trilateral talks on Syria were held that have once again proved that the EU’s political emphasis has moved," the senator wrote on his Facebook page.

According to Kosachev, despite the stalled Minsk process, the participants "are clear about it." "The agreements just need to be implemented while Syria seems to be far more important for Europe at the moment," the senator explained.

Berlin summit 

The senator went on to say that the Berlin-hosted Normandy Quartet summit has shown that the Minsk agreement is still in effect.

"The Berlin meeting has proved the Normandy Four format is still effective, as well as the Minsk accords and the Minsk process itself, which is even more important," the senator said, He added that Russia, France, Ukraine and Germany’s summit had resulted in some meaningful agreements.

"It seems, some progress in the political process has been made," Kosachev noted. In particular, the parties discussed the preparations for the elections in eastern Ukraine and the implementation of the law on the special status of Donbass. "It is important that some work will be done on a road map for the implementation of the Minsk accords, as it can ensure the crux of the matter, meaning fulfilling the procedures in order," the Russian senator added.

Kosachev pointed out that Kiev still had huge difficulties in implementing the provisions of the Minsk accords in the agreed arrangement. "However, Merkel and Hollande seem to have succeeded in steering their Ukrainian counterpart to a more practical mood because proclamations don’t help at the Normandy Quartet talks: since they are not public, no one gets impressed," the senator concluded.

Late on Wednesday night, in Berlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande held talks on the Syria settlement. Before that, the Normandy Quartet, which included Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko as well, discussed the implementation of the Minsk agreements on settling the situation in south-east Ukraine.

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