PARIS, May 31. /TASS/. French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday he has agreed with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts, Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky, to organize a ministerial meeting in the Normandy format.
"We have agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom we spoke several weeks ago, and with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, with whom we also spoke, to arrange a ministerial-level discussion. It will make it possible to fix the progress that might be reached at a meeting of the heads of state and governments," he said.
Macron stressed that, in his opinion, the Normandy format was the most useful one in terms of settling the crisis in Ukraine. "I always ask myself what else we can do. <…> And I see nothing more useful than the Normandy format and the progress we have achieved in recent months in the context of settling the Ukrainian crisis. We need to be committed and persistent," he said.
According to the French leader, the scandal following the emergency landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk will have no impact on discussions in the Normandy format. "It has nothing to do with Belarus," he noted.
Talks in the so-called Normandy format over Ukraine began to be held in June 2014. During special ceremonies on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the allied landings in Normandy during World War II, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany for the first time discussed ways of settling the conflict in Donbass. A number of telephone conversations and summit meetings, as well as contacts between foreign ministers, have been held since then. The latest summit in the Normandy format was held in Paris in December 2019.