MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry has moved to publish Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's correspondence with the French and German top diplomats, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Heiko Maas, in order to prevent attempts to distort Moscow's position on a Normandy Four meeting on Ukraine, the ministry said on Wednesday.
According to the statement, Lavrov informed his German and French counterparts on November 16 that the correspondence would be made public.
In an October 29 message to Maas and Le Drian, Lavrov emphasized the importance of mediation efforts on the Normandy Four platform. However, he stressed that a possible ministerial meeting "should be well prepared," including the development of a thorough joint statement "with specific recommendations" for Ukraine and the self-proclaimed Donbass republics as the parties to the conflict. The Russian foreign minister sent a Russian draft document on the matter to his counterparts. However, Lavrov later noted that the response of France and German was "disappointing." He particularly pointed to statements by Le Drian and Maas who had said that Russia's draft document contained provisions "that cannot be accepted" on the Normandy Four platform.
At the same time, Lavrov slammed a draft document presented by France and Germany, particularly because of their interpretation of the Minsk Agreements. When commenting on his counterparts' proposal to meet in Paris on November 11, Lavrov noted that he had informed the French top diplomat on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome that he would not be able to participate as he already had a meeting planned for that day in Moscow.