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‘Normandy Four’ ministers to talk Donbass elections in Paris

March 01, 8:58 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
The foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany will focus "on one of major obstacles to progress on the path towards implementing the Minsk agreements"
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© AP Photo/Vadim Braydov

WASHINGTON, March 1. /TASS/. The Paris meeting of Normandy Four foreign ministers on March 3 will discuss adoption of legislation in Ukraine for holding elections in Donbass, Germany’s top diplomat Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at a joint press conference with his US counterpart John Kerry.

Steinmeier, who arrived in Washington on a two-day visit on Monday, said the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany will focus "on one of major obstacles to progress on the path towards implementing the Minsk agreements."

"I speak about the election legislation for eastern Ukraine," the German foreign minister told reporters.

"We need conditions in the security sphere allowing elections to be held," Steinmeier stressed. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, also needs to work on the respective legislation.

At the talks in the French capital, the foreign ministers "will work on both issues," Steinmeier said. "I hope that on Thursday we will make a small step forward."

Speaking on his talks with Ukraine’s authorities in Kiev last week, Steinmeier said all the leaders regard the Minsk agreements reached in February last year as the only way to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. At the same time, not all parties to the conflict are ready to ensure significant progress, he added.

The Minsk agreements approved on February 12, 2015 by Normandy Four envisaged ceasefire and also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions. The Ukrainian forces and militias of the self-proclaimed republics have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.

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