Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced preparations for the new Normandy Four summit. According to the President of Ukraine, Paris, Berlin and Moscow have already confirmed their agreement to hold a new round of negotiations. However, the official representative of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov denied information about the preparation of the summit, explaining that there are no sufficient grounds for such negotiations so far. Not ready to name the date of the summit and at the Elysee Palace. According to experts, new negotiations should take place after Kiev takes real steps towards the implementation of the Minsk agreements. However, there are no real prerequisites for this, analysts say.
“We understand that in principle we have confirmation from the German side, confirmation from the French side and agreement that the Russian Federation is also not against meeting. Because I think everyone understands how important it is for all of us to meet in this format. Therefore, we are looking forward to the date of the meeting in the Normandy format in the near future, ”Zelensky said, speaking following the talks with Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga.
The words of the Ukrainian leader have already been commented on in Moscow. As the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said, the necessary prerequisites have not yet been created for the summit of the Normandy Four.
“So far there is no necessary ground for this,” Interfax quoted Peskov as saying.
In addition, Peskov said that the Russian president is not yet planning to hold telephone talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for a new summit in the Normandy format.
© Sergey Guneev
The press service of the Elysee Palace told RIA Novosti that the date of the next summit of the leaders of the “Normandy Four” countries is still unknown.
According to experts, announcing a new summit in the Normandy format, Vladimir Zelensky is pursuing his own political goals.
“Zelensky is engaged in offensive diplomacy, wishful thinking and thus trying to persuade his partners in the Normandy Four to hold a new summit, although there is no reason for this,” Vladimir Zharikhin, deputy director of the Institute of CIS Countries, said in an interview with RT.
The expert recalled that the Ukrainian leader had previously promised to fulfill the points of the Minsk agreements, but this has not yet been done.
In early July, Dmitry Peskov announced that holding a summit in the Normandy format is possible, but only if the agreements reached last year at the Paris summit are fulfilled.
“It can be said unequivocally that if the Paris agreements are fulfilled, an early summit in the Normandy format is possible. The key phrase is precisely “in the implementation of the Paris agreements,” said Peskov.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Normandy format meeting
© Alexey Nikolsky
Recall that the last summit of the leaders of the Normandy format countries was held in December 2019 in Paris. Following the talks, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Volodymyr Zelenskyy adopted a joint statement on resolving the conflict in Donbass. The communiqué speaks of the need to achieve a complete ceasefire by the end of 2019, carry out the disengagement of weapons, and conduct an exchange of detainees in an “all for all” format.
The document also notes that the participants in the negotiations in the Normandy format are interested in agreeing on the details of the law on the special status of Donbass, which Kiev should adopt. The parties also agreed on the need to implement the Steinmeier formula into Ukrainian legislation.
Recall, according to the formula proposed by Frank-Walter Steinmeir (the diplomat was at that time the head of the German Foreign Ministry) in 2015, the law on the special status of Donbass should come into force in stages. Donbass will be granted a special status on the day of early elections in the region on a temporary basis. And on a permanent basis, the law will come into effect after the OSCE / ODIHR confirms the legitimacy of the vote.
Also on the topic
Diplomatic maneuvers: why Kiev started talking about the need to “modernize dialogue” with Russia
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine announced the need to “modernize the dialogue” with Russia on Donbass, relying on the support of “international …
At the end of December, the first prisoner exchange in two years took place between Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics of Donbass. As a result, 124 people returned to the DPR and LPR, and 76 to Ukraine.
Another exchange took place in April 2020. Then 20 people were transferred to Kiev, 14 to the self-proclaimed republics.
In addition, at the end of 2019, the disengagement of forces took place in the front sectors in the area of the settlements of Zolotoye and Petrovskoye. The Kremlin welcomed these efforts by Kiev.
“We welcome and positively assess the disengagement that is taking place in Zolote and Petrovskoye, and we believe that this fulfillment of previously assumed obligations should be continued, which will become a very important element in terms of preparing a meeting in the Normandy format,” Dmitry Peskov said at the time.
However, Kiev is in no hurry to fulfill the political provisions of the Minsk Agreements. On the contrary, the Ukrainian authorities are increasingly calling for a revision of the agreements signed in 2015.
Internal political motive
In particular, Ukrainian politicians are in favor of revising the provisions regarding the transfer of control to Ukraine over the border between Donbass and Russia. According to the current agreements, this should happen only after elections are held on the territory of the self-proclaimed republics. The Ukrainian side insists that this should be done before the vote.
In addition, Kiev refuses to consolidate the special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the Constitution. Recall that according to the terms of the Minsk Agreements, Kiev must carry out a constitutional reform, which implies decentralization, taking into account the characteristics of certain regions of Donbass, and also adopt permanent legislation on the special status of these regions.
Soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Donbass
© Gleb Garanich
As Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said on July 13, Kiev is ready to consider increasing the powers of the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, but not fixing their special status in the Constitution.
In addition, from the point of view of Kiev, many provisions of the Minsk agreements “do not work” and can be revised within the framework of the “Normandy” summit. This statement was made earlier by the deputy head of the Kiev delegation in the contact group on resolving the situation in Donbass Alexey Reznikov.
“There are a lot of things that no longer work today, and therefore the parties in Minsk cannot agree a priori,” he said in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.
Also on the topic
“No peace, no war”: why Ukraine is in no hurry to implement the Minsk agreements
Kiev avoids setting any time frame for fulfilling the terms of the Minsk agreements or Steinmeier’s formula for …
Commenting on this statement of the Ukrainian side, Dmitry Peskov noted that neither Berlin, nor Paris, nor Moscow would like Ukraine’s refusal from the Minsk agreements. The press secretary of the Russian president added that Kiev is doing nothing to implement the Minsk agreements, as well as the agreements reached in Paris.
This is not Kiev’s goal, experts say.
“The Ukrainian authorities are going to carry out a major revision of the Minsk Agreements, rearrange and dilute the clauses of the document. Kiev knows that Moscow will not agree to this, but is trying to compensate for its inability to negotiate with assertiveness. However, Paris, Berlin and Moscow will simply not agree to hold a new summit if Kiev does not take steps to implement the “Minsk”, – Vladimir Zharikhin explained.
According to the head of the Center for Systems Analysis and Forecasting Rostislav Ishchenko, Zelensky announced a new meeting based on the internal political situation.
“Even those who previously supported him are now opposed, disappointment is growing. Now Zelensky is trying to increase his importance in the eyes of the population, to demonstrate some foreign policy successes. Kiev has no agenda for the summit, Zelensky just needs to show that he has foreign policy support, ”the expert noted in a commentary on RT.
France, Germany, Russia demand from Ukraine to complete the “homework” of the December summit, recalled Rostislav Ishchenko.
“But the Ukrainian side did nothing. Therefore, there are no preconditions for a new summit in the Normandy format. The leaders of the Normandy Four countries are too busy for empty meetings. But Zelenskiy has shown no will to fulfill earlier commitments. And he has fewer and fewer chances to do this, since he is losing the support of the Ukrainian population, “the expert summed up.