Russia voices demands ahead of Normandy Format meeting

The Russian Foreign Ministry (MFA) will demand the withdrawal of forces from Stanytsia Luhanska and the documentation of the Steinmeier formula at a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Normandy Four on June 11.

"Without implementing the process in Stanytsia Luhanska, Ukrainian security forces are significantly strengthening their positions near the settlements of Zolote and Petrivske, from which them and the Donbas militia withdrew troops and equipment in the autumn of 2016," stated the Russian Foreign Ministry in a commentary published by the MFA Department of Information and Press department ahead of the upcoming Normandy Format ministerial meeting which will be attended the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"The Russian side is planning to demand the immediate restoration of the status quo in the settlement of Zolote and Petrivske as it was after disengagement of forces there in 2016, as well the finalization of this process in Stanytsia Luhanska," the commentary reads.

In addition, the Russia intends to pay attention to the "political aspects of the settlement."

"First of all, [we note] need to document the agreement on the procedure for the entry into force of the law on the special status of the Donbas, better known as the Steinmeier Formula, that was reached at the Normandy Format summit in Paris on October 2, 2015 and reconfirmed by the leaders of the Normandy Format in Berlin on October 19, 2016," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Commenting on the possibility for the creation of a UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbas, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that "European and American partners are promoting the idea of ​​a ‘peace enforcement’ military operation to establish an international military civil administration in the region – prior to the local elections there."

"Any format of international assistance to resolve the internal Ukrainian crisis, including from the UN, should be based on the consent of the parties to the conflict - Kyiv and the Donbas," the commentary continued.

A meeting of Foreign Ministers in the Normandy format will be held on June 11 in Berlin.

On June 8, an official spokesperson for the German Federal Foreign Office, Maria Adebahr, has said that, for the first time, one of the main topics of the talks will be a UN peacekeeping mission in Eastern Ukraine.

  Normandy Format, UN peacekeeping mission, Donbas, Russia


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