MOSCOW, September 10. /TASS/. Germany and France suggest a Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, France, Ukraine) meeting be held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly but so far such ideas cannot be called serious, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.
"Our colleagues from Germany and France suggest foreign ministers from France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia gather on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. Meanwhile, we are asking them to tell us what they think about what [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky and his team are doing when they legislatively make their possibilities on the implementation of the Minsk agreements null and void. They say: well, it would be good to meet and discuss. But it is an absolutely unprofessional an unserious talk," he said.
"We even asked them point-blank: when you demand Russia implement the Minsk agreement - they have it in the principles of relations with Russia; there are five provisions, with one of them, on the way of normalizing relations with Russia, insisting on Russia’s implementation of the Minsk agreements <…> we ask them: who do you think are the parties to the conflict? You won’t believe. The answer: ‘Let us continue to keep this answer within the frame of constructive ambiguity.’ What kind of ambiguity do they mean? The Minsk agreements say that all the matters are to be agreed between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk. So, to gather in such a situation means to disrespect oneself. Because these people don’t want to implement either the Minsk agreement, or the resolutions of the December 2019 Paris summit of the Normandy Four," Lavrov stressed.
He also noted that Ukraine’s foreign ministry speaks about the plans of convening a Normandy-format summit to settle the problems of the implementation of the Minsk agreements, on the one hand, while the Ukrainian president’s office, on the contrary, claims that the agreements have exhausted themselves, on the other hand. "The head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group [Leonid Kravchenko] says the same, that the Minsk agreements need to be revised. For instance, he insists that the [Donetsk and Lugansk] militias cede control of the border to Ukraine first and then Kiev will address the issues of the Russian language, their status, amnesty, local elections. Everyone sees the absurdity of this initiative, which simply runs counter to the Minsk agreements. They say then: the Normandy format is good, but the United States, Great Britain and Poland should be included. That is why when they call on us to hold a meeting in the Normandy format, we ask first to explain how these things can be combined," the minister explained.