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Russia expects Normandy format meeting to yield specific results

According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, Russia has never questioned the importance of that negotiation format

MOSCOW, June 4. /TASS/. Moscow hopes the upcoming meeting between the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine) foreign ministers will yield modest but specific results, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told TASS on Monday.

According to Grushko, Russia has never questioned the importance of that negotiation format. "On the other hand, our expectations have always been associated with the fact that such meetings, particularly high-level and top-level, should yield specific results," he noted. "These should be at least modest but specific steps aimed at the implementation of the Minsk agreements both in terms of the political track and the security track."

"We are currently working with all of our partners and proceed from the assumption that, when such a meeting takes place, it will be marked by specific progress," Grushko stressed.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin earlier said that the Normandy Four foreign ministers’ meeting could be held in June, but its final date had not been determined yet.

The first meeting in the so-called Normandy Four format was held in France on June 6, 2014, during celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the landing of allied troops in Normandy, when the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany held talks to find a solution to the conflict in southeast Ukraine.

In February 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, then French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko held marathon 17-hour-long talks in Minsk, approving the Package of Measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements, the basis for peace in Donbass. Since then, numerous phone talks, summits and ministerial meetings have been held. The latest meeting of the Normandy Four top diplomats took place in Munich in February 2017.