07:45 GMT +323 October 2019
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    OSCE inspectors examine the territory of the Donetsk filter plant, situated on the contact line between Yasinovataya and Avdeyevka in Donbass, which was heavily shelled by the Ukrainian army

    France Backs All Initiatives on Ukraine Leading to Positive Results - Ambassador

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    According to the French ambassador to Russia, France supports different initiatives on Ukraine that would lead to peace in the country.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – France is not opposed to other initiatives on Ukrainian reconciliation apart from the Normandy Format if they lead to positive results, French ambassador to Russia Sylvie Bermann has said commenting on the Russia-US Ukraine talks.

    “We are committed to the Normandy format, but we are not opposed to other possibilities of negotiations process if they lead to positive results. These initiatives are complementary and may help reach certain results in the Normandy format,” she told RIA Novosti.

    According to the ambassador, France believes that a UN peacekeeping mission should be deployed on the entire territory of Ukraine’s Donbass, but is ready to consider Russia’s proposals on the issue.

    “We believe that this is an interesting proposal. It will be studied in the UN framework. We believe that this mission should be deployed to the whole of the Donbass territory, but we shall examine Russia’s proposal nevertheless,” she told RIA Novosti.

    In early September, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his support for the idea of sending peacekeepers to Ukraine in order to ensure the security of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) observer mission in Donbass.

    The Syrian issue

    The contact group on Syria is expected to comprise the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – France, Russia, the United States, China and the United Kingdom, the discussions on the issue are currently underway in New York, Bermann added.

    "Presumably, five permanent members of the UN Security Council will be included in the contact group, Russia is one of them, of course," Bermann told RIA Novosti, stressing that the final decision on the issue was being taken, and "consultations in New York are underway on this issue."

    France believes it is important to start working on the political phase of the Syrian settlement, Bermann added.

    French President Emmanuel Macron said in late August that a new contact group on Syria within the United Nations would be launched in September.

    On September 8, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said during a press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the mechanism of the contact group was expected to start working "as soon as the preconditions [for the settlement] are met," namely prohibition on using chemical weapons, fighting any form of terrorism and ensuring access for humanitarian aid to Syrian people as well as creating conditions for a political transitional period.


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