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Normandy Four leaders may discuss Minsk agreements next week as well — Hollande

February 13, 2015, 4:04 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
Speaking at a news conference in Brussels after an extraordinary EU summit, Hollande said the Normandy Four leaders would keep constant contact via telephone
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© TASS/Viktor Drachev

BRUSSELS, February 13. /TASS/. The Normandy Four leaders - Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko - may meet again next week for talks in case the situation with implementation of the Minsk agreements requires it, the French president said.

Speaking at a news conference in Brussels after an extraordinary EU summit, Hollande said the Normandy Four leaders would keep constant contact via telephone after the agreed upon ceasefire in Ukraine comes into force on Sunday.

However, the French president added, the leaders of the Normandy Four would gather again if the need surged.

The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France met in the Belarusian capital of Minsk on Wednesday night in a bid to find a way for the resolution of the ongoing military conflict in the southeast of Ukraine.

The key negotiations, which started at 8:15 p.m. Moscow time (17:15 GMT) on Wednesday, lasted for around 16 hours. The high-ranking participants of the marathon talks in Minsk agreed on ceasefire from midnight, February 15.

A complex of measures on implementing the Minsk agreements, adopted on Thursday, envisages the withdrawal of heavy weaponry by both sides at equal distances with the goal creating a 50 km security zone for 100 mm caliber artillery systems, a 70 km security zone for multiple rocket launcher systems, 140 km security zone for Tornado-S, Uragan, Smerch systems and Tochka-U tactical missile systems.

Thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands of people have fled Ukraine’s embattled east as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April 2014, to regain control over parts of the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics.

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