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    German FM: Upcoming Talks in Normandy Format 'Will Be Difficult'

    © AFP 2018 / JOHN MACDOUGALL
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    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas believes that the resumption of the negotiations on the Ukrainian conflict settlement in the Normandy Four format would be difficult, but considers the very fact of the upcoming talks a "success."

    "I am not deceiving myself, resumption [of talks] will be difficult. The interests and points of view of Ukraine and Russia in many areas are far from each other. [But] the mere fact that we are going to a meeting of foreign ministers after 16 months is a success," Maas told the Bild newspaper.

    The so-called Normandy Four format, comprising Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, was established on June 6, 2014, in order to resolve the military conflict between Kiev and self-proclaimed republics in country’s eastern region of Donbass.

    The conflict in Donbass sparked in 2014, when the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics (DPR and LPR) that refused to recognize the new government in Kiev, which came to power after what they considered to be a coup.

    In 2015, the conflicting parties signed a peace deal following talks brokered by the Normandy Four.

    Next Normandy Four meeting at the level of foreign ministers is scheduled on Monday in Berlin.

    Related:

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    Kremlin: Putin Said Kiev Failed to Enact Minsk Accords in Normandy 4 Phone Talks
    "Normandy Four" Calls on Stopping Ceasefire Violations in Donbass
    'Normandy 4' Leaders' Phone Talks on Ukrainian Settlement to Take Place Monday
    Tags:
    barriers, settlement, diplomacy, talks, Normandy Four, Heiko Maas, Donbass, Berlin, Germany
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