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Diplomat: No common approach to Donbass settlement roadmap reached so far

December 08, 2016, 21:13 UTC+3
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HAMBURG /Germany/, December 8. /TASS/. No common approach on the roadmap for the Donbass settlement has been reached so far, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.

"This issue [work on the roadmap - TASS] is being addressed by the Normandy Four leaders’ aides. The foreign ministers have been vested with a rather ceremonial role to endorse this roadmap when it is agreed," he said at a meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

He reminded that the four ministers met in late November in Minsk. "So far, no common approach has surfaced, although the process is slowly moving, at a snail’s pace however," the minister said. "I’d rather refrain from comments about who is holding down the process. I hope it will be ultimately completed."

At their meeting in the Belarusian capital city on November 29, the Normandy Four, namely Russian, German, French and Ukrainian, foreign ministers failed to agree a roadmap for the implementation of the Minsk agreements. An agreement on developing a roadmap for the implementation of the Minsk agreements was reached by the leaders of the Normandy Four nations at their meeting in Berlin on October 19. This document was expected to be drafted and by the end of November.

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising senior representatives from Russia, Ukraine and the European security watchdog OSCE on February 12, 2015, signed a 13-point Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements. The package was agreed with the leaders of the Normandy Four, namely Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine.

The Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk starting from February 15 and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.

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