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    Foreign ministers of the so-called Normandy format (L to R) Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel pose for a photographer ahead talks at the 53rd Munich Security Conference (MSC) at the Bayerischer Hof hotel in Munich, southern Germany, on February 18, 2017

    Normandy Format Provides Effective Dialogue on Ukraine Without US - Paris

    © AFP 2018 / Sven Hoppe / POOL
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    The 'Normandy Four' format of talks on Ukraine crisis settlement, carried out by Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, provides a productive dialogue even without the US participation, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said Wednesday.

    PARIS (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that the administration of then-US President Barack Obama sought the expansion of the Normandy format, however, the European countries rejected the idea.

    "The Normandy format provides a permanent basis for a productive and regular dialogue, which aims at achieving the implementation of the entire package of the Minsk agreements," Nadal said at a press briefing.

    The ministerial spokesman pointed out that Washington as well as other European states, which are kept informed of the progress of talks might also "play an important role by urging Russia and Ukraine to implement their obligations."

    The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

    In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement brokered by the Normandy Four states, the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.

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    Tags:
    Normandy Format, Ukrainian crisis, Romain Nadal, France, United States, Donbass, Ukraine
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