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PARIS, September 5. /TASS/. A new meeting of the Normandy Four countries’ leaders (France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine), devoted to settlement of the conflict in Ukraine’s east, may take place within weeks, France’s President Francois Hollande wrote on Facebook on Monday.
He said, France still adheres to the Normandy Format as far as the Ukrainian crisis is concerned.
"In Ukraine, we should continue the Minsk process, settlement the blocking moments there, including those related to the special status introduction, to the situation around security and a lack of trust between the parties," the French president wrote. "We have agreed to organize within coming weeks a summit featuring Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine."
The French leader made this statement after the G20 summit in China. "The G20 topic is the economic growth and global trade, but if we do not settle conflicts in the world and their consequences, the global economy will be affected by this result," he said. "I presented this message to Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, - during our meeting I also stressed it is important to do everything to find political solutions both in Ukraine and in Syria."
Back in early August, the Normandy Four meeting was expected to be organized in China’s Hangzhou. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on August 8, Russia would support the initiative from Kiev, if Germany and France agree, and if China, the event’s host, offers a venue for the talks.
But on August 10, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced it had thwarted a sabotage attempt in Crimea plotted by Ukraine’s Defense Ministry’s main intelligence directorate. A number of saboteurs was spotted in the small hours of August 7 near the city of Armyansk, close to the border with Ukraine. Two Russian servicemen were killed in the process of detaining the terrorists. The aborted terror attempts were designed to target Crimea’s critical infrastructure and vital facilities, the FSB revealed. Vladimir Putin said then it was senseless to organize the Normandy Four’s summit under those circumstances.
The negotiations in the Norman Quartet format on resolving the situation in the east of Ukraine (Donbass) has been held since June, 2014.
Then, during the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the landing of allied troops in Normandy, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany for the first time discussed the settlement of the conflict in the south-east of Ukraine. Since then, several summit meetings took place as well as meetings on ministerial level.