“The indication of the fact that today’s meeting in Minsk is unlikely to be productive is the problem that there is no agreed document, which would be formally approved by the foreign ministers in Minsk,” Olga Ayvazovskaya told journalists.
She added that the discussions held so far by experts and legal advisers throughout November have not yielded satisfactory results since “each party has its own goals.”
According to Ayvazovskaya, today’s meeting is likely to be a chance for the foreign ministers to “reach a common understanding” rather than to agree on a single document.
The eastern provinces of Ukraine have been in turmoil since April 2014, when Kiev authorities launched a military operation against pro-independence militia in Donbas. In February 2015, the two sides reached a ceasefire deal after talks brokered by the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine — the so-called Normandy Format — in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.
The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons 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 self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics. Both sides of the conflict, however, have been constantly accusing each other of violations of the agreement.