19:11 GMT30 May 2020
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    The French President Francois Hollande wants to formalize the progress achieved in Ukraine, giving Moscow a signal that France doesn't want anti-Russia sanctions to be there for eternity, said Arnaud Dubien, the director of the Franco-Russian Analytical Center Observatory at the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce.

    Dubien bases his assumptions on the fact that Hollande has recently initiated a new ‘Normandy Four' summit, RIA Novosti reported. According to the analyst, this means Hollande wants to formalize the progress achieved in Ukraine and push a solution for the Donbass election issue.

    "By readily inviting the ‘Normandy Format' states to gather at a meeting, Francois Hollande wants to formalize the achieved progress in Ukraine and give a crucial push to the key issue — local elections in Donbass which are being interpreted in many different ways" Dubien stated.

    On Monday, during a traditional press-conference at the Elysee Palace, the President of France told reporters that a new meeting of the leaders of ‘Normandy Four' countries (Germany, Russia, Ukraine, France) may take place in Paris in September prior to the United Nations General Assembly. He noted that the chiefs of the Foreign Affairs Ministries of the ‘Normandy Four' states will negotiate in the near future in preparation for the summit.

    Additionally, Hollande announced at the conference that he is going to take measures towards lifting anti-Russia sanctions imposed by several countries over Moscow's alleged role in the Ukrainian conflict, if the containment of the Ukrainian crisis keeps progressing.

    "Technically, the president of France doesn't say anything new after the March decision of the European Council, which linked this issue [sanctions] with the implementation of the Minsk agreements. But it's still important that such a serious statement came from the leader of the ‘big' EU state," Dubien said.

    He added that there's no doubt Hollande's words will be taken well by the heads of state approaching the issue with a moderate stand or those who think the implementation of the Minsk agreements is just as much Kiev's responsibility.

    According to the expert, Hollande's words should be read as a "signal to Moscow," saying that France doesn't want to keep prolonging the sanctions for eternity.

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    Tags:
    France, summit, anti-Russian sanctions, Normandy Group, Francois Hollande, Russia
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