02:11 GMT +316 November 2018
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, background 2nd right, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, foreground right, during the Normandy format meeting between the leaders of Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France on settling the Ukrainian conflict, at the Paul Loebe Haus parliamentary building in Berlin. (File)

    'Normandy Four' Leaders to Discuss Strengthening Role of OSCE in Donbass - Kiev

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    The talks between the leaders of the so-called Normandy Four group, comprising Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine, may take place in the coming days, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said Tuesday.

    ROME (Sputnik) — The talks are to focus on a ceasefire and strengthening the role of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to ensure security along the contact line in Ukraine's Donbass region, he added.

    "We want to hold it as soon as possible, I think, in the coming days. The agenda for the talks is very clear: how to reach a level of security to stop shelling against the civilians, how to strengthen the OSCE's role in providing a real level of security along the contact line, especially in monitoring sections of the border between Ukraine and Russia," Klimkin said after talks with Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano.

    According to the foreign minister, the release of "detainees," which Klimkin called a moral issue, rather than a political one, will also be discussed during the talks. The issue of returning the population of Donbass, who allegedly refused to live in the region due to the conflict, will also be brought up, Klimkin added.

    "We must work on the implementation of the Minsk agreements… it is a ceasefire, the establishment of OSCE control over the entire territory of the conflict, the release of prisoners and the holding of elections. They may not be perfect, but should be honest and free," the minister concluded.

    On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron said the next round of Ukrainian conflict reconciliationtalks between Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine would take place in late June or early July.

    Eastern Ukraine has been in a state of turmoil since April 2014, when the government in Kiev launched a military operation against militias in Donbass. The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France established a ceasefire agreement in February 2015 in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, later signed by Kiev and the Donbas militias. Despite the peace accords, ceasefire violations remain ongoing.

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    Normandy Four, Donbass, Ukraine
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