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German foreign minister points to progress at "Normandy Four" meeting in Berlin

September 13, 2015, 4:25 UTC+3 BERLIN
"There is hope that today’s meeting will contribute to defusing tensions in eastern Ukraine and also that it was part of preparations for the "four" summit on October 2," Steinmeier said
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BERLIN, September 13. /TASS/. Progress has been made at the meeting of the foreign ministers of the "Normandy Four" (Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine) on a range of issues pertaining to defusing the Ukrainian crisis, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Saturday following talks.

"As before, it was not easy, however, I can say with relief that there has been less confrontation than before. We have been able to move forward on some issues," he said.

The talks also showed "how difficult every step forward was," Steinmeier noted. "What we have achieved today was a result of hard work and must be implemented by the Contact Group."

"There is hope that today’s meeting will contribute to defusing tensions in eastern Ukraine and also that it was part of preparations for the "four" summit on October 2," the German foreign minister said.

Steinmeier pointed to the observance of the "silence regime" in the east of the country. According to him, "substantial role is assigned to weapons withdrawal." "Together we have confirmed that the ceasefire that has been in effect for the past two weeks should be maintained and strengthened," he said. "That’s why the Contact Group should contribute to the withdrawal of light and heavy weapons, he said.

Aside from that, it’s necessary to address humanitarian issues, especially in the run-up to the winter season, he said, adding that progress had also been made in the political settlement issues.

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