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Political advisers working on preparing Normandy Four summit, says Kremlin

Dmitry Peskov emphasized that Moscow would insist on fulfilling at least some previous agreements in order to hold the new summit

MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. Political advisers to the leaders of Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France are carrying out an effort to prepare for the Normandy format summit, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated in an interview with Moscow. Kremlin. Putin program on Rossyia-1 TV channel.

The Kremlin spokesman emphasized that Moscow would insist on fulfilling at least some previous agreements in order to hold the new summit of the Normandy Four group. "Nevertheless, the work is underway. And the work carried out by the political advisers is very intense," Peskov stated.

According to the Kremlin spokesman, "the political advisers of the Quartet are in permanent contact." "This is very difficult communication, it requires great patience of all four sides, nevertheless, it is being conducted. And it is being conducted precisely in the interests of preparing and holding such a summit," Peskov went on to say.

In regard to the video conference held on March 30 by the leaders of Russia, Germany and France, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, Peskov noted that the counterparts of Russia’s president "in many ways" understood which side was not fulfilling the Minsk agreements. "There are certain disagreements with us too and there is a wish for us, as a party to the Minsk process, to show greater flexibility. But in general, there is understanding that there is a document that has no alternative at the moment, which must be complied with," the Kremlin spokesman said. He also emphasized the unambiguity of the document signed in Minsk in 2015, in which "everything is written in black and white: both the essence and the sequence of steps."

"And, of course, when we hear Kiev’s statements more and more often and at various levels that the Minsk package of measures is already outdated, then this probably causes bewilderment not only in our country but also in Paris and Berlin," the Kremlin spokesman concluded.

Germany and France

Germany and France generally understand that Russia is not a party to the Donbass conflict, while Ukraine is a headache for them like an "enfant terrible", Peskov emphasized.

Peskov noted that "the Ukrainian side had been tenaciously trying to present Russia as a party to the Donbass conflict", which Russia could oppose only by patiently explaining its stance.

"Russia is not a party to the [Donbass] conflict. Russia is making every possible effort to help resolve this conflict. And we will tirelessly continue to clarify this," the Kremlin spokesman said, noting that "the Normandy Four’s members, except Ukraine, generally understand this."

"However, for them, probably, Ukraine is such an "enfant terrible" [French for "terrible child", in a broader sense - a person who does not restrain himself with decency - TASS], yes, this terrible child, which you cannot kick out anywhere, but it causes severe headache," Peskov concluded.

Since late February, the Donbass conflict has deteriorated, despite the additional ceasefire agreement of July 22, 2020. Intensive shellings resumed on the contact line. Both sides reported casualties, including among the civilian population.

The Normandy format refers to the negotiations on a peaceful settlement of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine, involving Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France. The first meeting of the four countries’ leaders was held in June 2014 during the events marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day allied landings in Normandy.