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BEIJING, January 12. /TASS/. China supports and welcomes efforts of the so-called Normandy format group, comprising Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France, to settle the situation in Ukraine, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Monday.
“China welcomes and supports any steps taken by the parties concerned to promote a political settlement of the crisis in Ukraine,” the diplomat said. “We hope that the relevant parties alongside mediating formats, such as the Minsk and Normandy formats, will take into account each other’s fears and legitimate interests and manage to reach a comprehensive, balanced and sustainable settlement as soon as possible, and restore peace, security, stability and development in Ukraine and the region as a whole,” Hong said.
The foreign ministers of the Normandy format countries will meet in Berlin on Monday to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine and the implementation of the Minsk peace plan. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will receive his counterparts from Russia, Ukraine and France - Sergey Lavrov, Pavel Klimkin and Laurent Fabius.
This format of negotiations got the ‘Normandy’ name after a meeting between the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine in Normandy, France last June during the 70th anniversary commemorations of the D-Day.
The talks in Berlin on Monday are expected to focus on the implementation of the Minsk peace plan, which was agreed in September. Both Steinmeier and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have in recent days emphasised that all 12 points in the protocol have to be fully implemented.