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Normandy Four advisors to hold meeting

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Normandy Four advisors to hold meeting

Normandy Four
Photo: Reuters

The Normandy Format’s meeting of advisers will gather today in Berlin to discuss the ongoing conflict in Ukraine’s Donbass region.

Despite the adoption of the Minsk agreements, the conflict that erupted in early 2014 in eastern Ukraine has transitioned into a stalemate. Within this context, representatives of the Normandy Format’s members—France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine—are attempting to broker a cessation of violence and ascertain the sequencing of political and military measures to arrive at a final negotiated solution.

However, conflict resolution has been impeded by difficulties in implementing the Minsk accords. Kiev is required to change its constitution to assign the separatist territories a special status. Although these constitutional changes have been drafted, achieving a two-thirds majority in the Ukrainian parliament remains unlikely under the country’s current political outlook. Furthermore, while Russia has agreed to full external monitoring of its border with Ukraine and the return of the contested region to Ukrainian sovereignty, the Kremlin still intends to maintain strong military capabilities within eastern Ukraine.

Expect today’s meeting to focus on measures to ensure the reinforcement of the ceasefire and facilitate a new prisoner exchange as a trust-building exercise. These will be intended to lay the groundwork for discussions at the future Normandy Format’s foreign ministers and head of states summit.

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