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Poroshenko and Hollande discuss situation in Donbas

October 02, 2015, 17:55 UTC+3 KIEV
The presidents also discussed the issue of visa-free regime for Ukrainians and agreed to hold a Ukrainian-French investment forum in November
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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and French President Francois Hollande

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and French President Francois Hollande

© TASS/Mikhail Metzel

KIEV, October 2. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has discussed with French President Francois Hollande the situation in Donbas, issues of visa-free regime and UN Security Council reform, Poroshenko’s press service said on Friday.

"Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko held a meeting with French President Francois Hollande in France. The presidents discussed the situation in Donbas and Crimea and coordinated their positions ahead of talks in the ‘Normandy format’. The presidents of Ukraine and France noted the necessity of reforming UN Security Council. They discussed the issue of visa-free regime for Ukrainians and agreed to hold a Ukrainian-French investment forum in November," the press service said.

The leaders also agreed on Hollande’s visit to Kiev. "Petro Poroshenko invited Francois Hollande to pay an official visit to Ukraine. The invitation was accepted," the press service added. "The relations between Ukraine and France are at their highest level" since the beginning of 1990s, Poroshenko said.

Poroshenko’s meeting with Hollande were followed by negotiations in the "Normandy format" (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine) where the leaders of France and Ukraine were joined by Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The sides gathered the Elysee Palace, French presidential residence, to discuss the situation in Donbass.

Before that, the leaders held several bilateral meetings. Putin held separate bilateral talks with Hollande and Merkel.

The Kremlin expects "an additional impulse" from this meeting in "fully implementing the Minsk Agreements." "We want the implementation to proceed in all directions, all points of the Minsk Agreements should be implemented," Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said.

Normandy format

The "Normandy format" brings together Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The format was first established in June 2014, when the four leaders held talks on the Ukrainian crisis during D-Day celebrations in Normandy.

On February 12, the sides signed the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the situation in Ukraine after negotiations in Minsk.

The Minsk accords envisage ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local elections in Donbas, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.

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