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Normandy Format political directors start closed-door meeting on Ukraine in Berlin

January 05, 2015, 17:30 UTC+3 BERLIN
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BERLIN, January 5. /TASS/. The Normandy Format meeting (Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France) on the Ukrainian crisis settlement at the level of the countries’ political directors has started in the German capital on Monday. The meeting, initiated by the German side, is held behind closed doors.

Russia is represented at the meeting by Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Department of the CIS Countries Viktor Sorokin.

Local diplomatic sources told TASS that the agenda of the meeting that will be held in the format of negotiations and a joint lunch, includes the preparation for the January 15 top-level summit of the Normandy Four on the Ukrainian crisis settlement that will be held in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.

The meeting participants will also discuss the implementation of the Minsk agreements on Ukraine, also concerning the establishment of a complete ceasefire regime.

The German newspaper Welt am Sonntag previously reported with reference to the German Foreign Ministry that a meeting between the foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine might take place in the near future. According to the publication, the meeting is planned to be held after January 7.

This issue may also become a subject for discussion at Monday’s Berlin meeting between the political directors of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France. No documents are expected to be signed on the meeting results. There has been no information yet as whether the meeting participants intend to talk to reporters.

On Sunday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told Welt am Sonntag in an interview that in 2015 there is the possibility to make progress in the Ukrainian crisis settlement. “In the new year we will possible have an opportunity to make progress in the Ukrainian crisis settlement,” he said.

The German foreign minister said that the current stage requires “taking next steps for the ceasefire conditions that really must be complied with.” The Minsk agreements must be “the basis for the activity of all” the sides, Steinmeier said.

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