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Hollande: France intends to ensure implementation of Minsk accords through Normandy Four

PARIS, October 19. /TASS/. At the Berlin-hosted Normandy Quartet meeting, France intends to do everything possible to advance the implementation of the Minsk agreements, French President Francois Hollande said at a cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace before departing for Germany’s capital.

"The so-called Normandy Quartet made it possible to clinch the Minsk deal. From France’s point of view, talks in this format should be continued in order to overcome the crisis. That is the position president Hollande holds ahead of the Normandy Quartet summit in Berlin," French Minister of Agriculture and Cabinet Spokesman Stephane Le Foll asserted. 

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert has also stated that the Normandy Quartet summit in Berlin may facilitate restarting the Minsk process:

"Yesterday, the chancellor stated that the synchronization of watches was due to take place today," he said. "I don’t want to rush things but this can provide ground for the further progress." "It is important to bring a fresh start and use every opportunity to make progress," Seibert added. 

Ukraine's president, hovwever, remained sceptical about the talks success. 

The Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk starting from February 15 and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.