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EU diplomacy chief hails Paris Normandy Four summit as first step to settlement in Ukraine

A Normandy Four summit was held in Paris on Monday, for the first time after a three-year break

PARIS, December 10. /TASS/. Monday’s summit of the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine) leaders is the first step towards political settlement in Ukraine, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Tuesday.

"I hail France’s and Germany’s efforts towards agreements on ceasefire, disengagement of forces and prisoner exchange. It was the first step forward in the process of political settlement," he said, adding that political settlement in Ukraine could only be achieved through dialogue in the Normandy format.

"We are convinced that the only lasting solution to the conflict can be found only within the dialogue in this format. I hail the progress that was reached at the Paris summit," he stressed.

Paris summit results

A Normandy Four summit was held in Paris on Monday, for the first time after a three-year break. Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Emmanuel Macron of Germany, Vladimir Zelensky of Ukraine and German Chancellor Angela Merkel gathered in the Elysee Palace to discuss ways of settling the conflict in Donbass.

The first personal meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian leaders, Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky, took place during the summit. Before that, they had only telephone conversations. Speaking at a news conference after the summit, the French president hailed this fact as one of the positive results of the summit.

The seven-hours talks yielded a final document committing to paper a number of concrete accords. Among the summit’s expected results was an agreement to exchange prisoners-of-war in Donbass under the formula of "all identified for all identified" by the yearend.

The summit’s participants also called for a complete and all-embracing ceasefire before the end of 2019 and agreed to support an accord within the framework of the Contact Group on the political settlement in eastern Ukraine on three additional sections of disengaging forces and weapons in the conflict area by the end of March 2020.

And last but not least, the leaders agreed to continue the top-level discussion in the Normandy format in a span of four months and to use this time to make further steps towards political settlement of the conflict in Donbass.