Germany intends to continue peace efforts with France within the framework of the Normandy format to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, and calls on Russia to cooperate, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday
BERLIN (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 19th April, 2021) Germany intends to continue peace efforts with France within the framework of the Normandy format to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, and calls on Russia to cooperate, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday.
Following the negotiations with EU foreign ministers which occurred earlier in the day, Maas noted that all diplomats agreed upon the support for the Ukrainian side in the recent escalation of the conflict in Donbas. The minister also stressed that Russia must comply with its commitments to transparency in military matters.
"Moscow must move from provocations to cooperation. I can only reiterate that the territorial integrity of Ukraine is not in question. This was again evident in negotiations with the Ukrainian counterpart [Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba]. Together with France, we will continue to make efforts in the Normandy format to fully implement the Minsk agreements, because the Ukrainian conflict can only be resolved in this way," Maas said at a press conference after talks with the top EU diplomats.
The Normandy Four group including Russia, France, Germany, and Ukraine was set up in June 2014 as a mediator of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine, after the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, known together as Donbas, proclaimed independence following what they considered to be a coup in Kiev in February of that year. In response, Kiev launched an offensive against the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Increased military activity on the line of contact in Donbas have been registered over the past few weeks.