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Normandy Four to discuss deal to temper fighting in eastern Ukraine


Normandy Four to discuss deal to temper fighting in eastern Ukraine

normandy four donbass
Photo: DPA

Foreign ministers from Normandy Four countries plan to meet over video chat to discuss a settlement to the conflict in Ukraine’s Donbass region.

The group—composed of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine—publicly hopes to produce an agreement to temper the fighting between Kyiv and Moscow-backed separatist groups in eastern Ukraine. On the table is the implementation of the Minsk agreement, which would allow the territory to become locally autonomous while still remaining under Ukrainian central leadership.

Expect the meeting to achieve little in the way of a long-term solution to the conflict. The ceasefire agreements hashed out by the Normandy Four have been repeatedly violated in the past without effective sanction besides increased troop presence.

Assuming progress is made, no scenario is ideal for Ukraine. Either it accepts the terms of the Minsk agreement and risks allowing the province to build stronger ties with Russia, or digs its heels in and continues fighting. Either way, increased Russian interference in the country seems inevitable. There exists a strong potential for Russian influence in local elections, with sympathetic candidates likely to receive a boost from the deployment of Russian smart and sharp power.

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