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    Lavrov Confirms Next Normandy Four Meeting to Be Held Soon

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    According to the Russian foreign minister, the next Normandy Four meeting would be held soon.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed on Saturday that the next Normandy Four meeting would be held soon, during which Kiev's non-compliance with the Minsk agreements due to be discussed among other issues.

    "I think it has been for a long time clear that that Ukrainian leadership intentionally chose the line [of confrontation] and that also means that Kiev has no regard for its European sponsors… I think that will be one of very serious issues for consideration [during the next Normandy Four meeting]," Lavrov said at after a meeting with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Than in Moscow, adding that the meeting would be held "soon."

    Along with Russia and Ukraine, the Normandy Format also includes Germany and France.

    On Friday, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov told the BBC broadcaster that Ukraine's goal in Donbas was to regain control over the breakaway territories step by step, which was regarded by self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic's Operational Command Deputy Commander Eduard Basurin as a violation of the Minsk agreements.

    Turchynov's statement was made amid escalation of tensions in eastern Ukraine that started in the beginning of the year, when fighting between Ukrainian forces and the militia of the self-proclaimed republics intensified.

    In late January, a group of former participants of Ukraine's military operation in Donbass blocked traffic on several segments of freight rail lines running from the territories uncontrolled by Kiev. The blockade led to irregularities in supplies of anthracite coal from Donbass, leading to power shortages in Ukraine and prompting Kiev to declare an energy emergency. In March, Kiev halted transport connection with the breakaway regions until the ceasefire was fully established in Donbass.


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