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    Munich Security Conference Could Help Resolve Ukraine Crisis

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    The Munich Security Conference Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger allows the possibility conducting a Normandy format meeting on Ukrainian reconciliation on the sidelines of the conference.

    BERLIN, February 2 (Sputnik) – The Munich Security Conference that is taking place on February 6-8 could help in the search for solutions to the Ukrainian conflict, conference chairman Wolfgang Ischinger told RIA Novosti.

    "There is a possibility of using Munich to conduct confidential talks behind closed doors in order to facilitate conflict resolution and I hope and am waiting for these opportunities to be actively taken advantage of in Munich," Ischinger said.

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    The chairman is also allowing for the chance of using a Normandy format meeting on Ukrainian reconciliation on the sidelines of the conference.

    "I think the probability of a 'Normandy Format' meeting in Munich is not very high, but I do not exclude it completely. I would very much like for talks to be held that would help implement the September Minsk agreements and push them a step ahead," he added.

    Ischinger is expecting a lot of bilateral meetings to be held on the sidelines of the conference. According to Ischinger, "active preparation" for these meetings and other multilateral talks are already underway in Munich.

    According to the Munich conference chairman, numerous talks on Ukrainian reconciliation have been held among foreign ministers in recent weeks.

    "Munich is probably an opportunity to further broaden the attempt [to resolve the situation in Ukraine] or to start it over after the recent incidents [in Ukraine's southeast] that are especially concerning," Ischinger said.

    Around 400 guests are expected to take part in the conference, including 20 government and state leaders and 60 foreign and defense ministers. A number of countries, including Russia and the United States, will send parliamentary delegations to the event, which will also see the participation of representatives from NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Greenpeace.

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and US Vice President Joe Biden have reportedly agreed to hold a meeting on the sidelines of the conference. Poroshenko also plans to hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    Meanwhile, talks on Ukrainian reconciliation have been conducted in four formats – Normandy (comprising the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine), Geneva (Ukraine, Russia, the United States, the European Union), Weimar (Ukraine, Germany, France, Poland) and Minsk (Russia, Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk, OSCE).

    The last round of Minsk talks held on January 31 ended without any agreements. Fighting continues in southeastern Ukraine, despite a ceasefire agreement signed between Kiev and independence supporters during a Minsk meeting in September 2014.

    The Munich Security Conference was established in 1963 and was limited to defense representatives of NATO member states. The conference has since transformed into an international discussion forum. Its goal is to promote international cooperation in dealing with the world's most acute security problems.


    Munich Security Conference 2015 (41)


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