PARIS (Sputnik) — French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday called for the continuation of talks on Ukrainian reconciliation in the so-called Normandy Four format, during a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko, the Elysee Palace said.
"The Republic's President and Chancellor Merkel had a conversation today with President Poroshenko, at the latter's request, to discuss the current situation in Ukraine. During the conversation, he stressed the necessity of continuing the discussion in the Normandy format to achieve a peaceful settlement of the crisis in eastern Ukraine," the presidential office said in a statement.
Holding a Normandy Four meeting with Ukraine, Germany and France on settling the Ukrainian conflict at the upcoming G20 summit in China would be futile given the uncovering of a spy ring organized by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry in Crimea, Russian President Putin said after the FSB had foiled a terror attack plotted by the Ukrainian main intelligence governorate.
The Minsk deal on Ukraine's reconciliation was struck in February 2015 by Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France and later signed by Kiev and the Donbass self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Both warring parties have repeatedly accused each other of violating the truce despite agreeing to the ceasefire deal. The accord stipulates a full ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, an all-for-all prisoner exchange and constitutional reforms, which would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.