Normandy Group Calls for Reinforcement of OSCE Mission to Ukraine
The foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany met in the so-called “Normandy format” on Tuesday, calling for the reinforcement of the OSCE monitoring mission to Ukraine.
The foreign ministers also called for respect of the ceasefire agreement, that had been agreed by the leaders of the Normandy group earlier in February in Minsk, EurActiv reports.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius revealed that together with his colleagues, they agreed to request a one-year extension of the mandate of the OSCE monitoring mission to Ukraine.
A request will be also submitted for the reinforcement of the mission's personnel, equipment and funding, such as providing it with protected vehicles and more technical surveillance means.
German Foreign Minister Frank Walter-Steinmeier noted that there had been some progress on the withdrawal of heavy weaponry, but was concerned about the lack of trust between the two sides.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described the talks as “very useful”, while his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin was more negative on the meeting's outcome.
Klimkin expressed disappointment that the four ministers had failed to condemn the recent capture of Debaltseve by the separatists and feared that the rebels will next target the city of Mariupol.
The Ukrainian Foreign Minister called for the stricter implementation of the Minsk agreement and cessation of shelling.
The next meeting of the Normandy format is scheduled to take place in Berlin within ten days at the level of deputy ministers or political directors.
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