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KIEV, April 4. /TASS/. Normandy Four foreign ministers will discuss deployment of a peacekeeping mission in Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko said on Saturday.
"I am speaking about it for the first time: an agreement has been reached to hold a meeting of foreign ministers in the ‘Normandy format’ for discussing the deployment of a peacekeeping mission in Ukraine," Poroshenko told the Ukrainian 5 TV Channel.
Along with this, Poroshenko admitted that international partners’ reaction to Kiev’s initiative on stationing a peacekeeping mission was negative as the Minsk agreements did not envisage it.
"However, thanks to diplomats’ meticulous work the issue has been submitted for discussions. In particular, consultations with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon took place."
"Peacekeepers should be deployed not only along the contact line but along the border as well while the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) should inspect implementation of the Minsk accords," he said.
Ukraine’s president is certain that cooperation with the OSCE, enlargement of the mission and extension of its mandate and technical equipment will provide for a stable ceasefire and release of all hostages.
On March 21, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Ukraine’s initiative to deploy peacekeepers in Ukraine is geared to divert attention from Kiev’s non-fulfilment of the Minsk agreements.
"I think it is a deceptive manoeuvre," Lavrov said. "They understand that these obligations are unrealisable for Poroshenko, who is under pressure from those who want no peace settlement at all, and also to shift the fault from themselves."
"After Verkhovna Rada /Ukrainian parliament/ passed resolutions on the procedure of local elections, which are in open conflict with the Minsk agreements, they have invented a new thing to distract attention - an initiative to deploy peacekeepers," the Russian diplomat said.
Earlier, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that dates for the next meeting of the Normandy Four comprising Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, had not been known yet.
On April 1, French Foreign Ministry political director Nicolas de Riviere told reporters that time and place for the Normandy Four foreign ministers’ negotiations had not been determined yet.
The ministers held the last meeting in Paris on February 24.
On February 12 marathon talks between the Normandy Four leaders - Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko - and a simultaneous meeting of the Contact group on Ukraine, comprising representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), were held in Minsk on February 10-12.
A 13-item Package of Measures was approved with the aim to implement the September 2014 Minsk agreements.
The package included an agreement to cease fire by both sides from February 15, to pull out heavy weapons, to exchange prisoners of war on the principle ‘all for all’, along with measures on long-term political settlement in eastern Ukraine, including introduction of a special self-rule status for certain areas in Donbass.