The first meeting of Putin and Zelensky was held in Paris: what was agreed
On December 9, a summit of leaders of Norman-format countries is taking place in Paris. The meeting is attended by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French leader Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Around 21: 00 local time (15: 00 New York), the first meeting between Putin and Zelensky ended.
For the first time since 2016, Paris is hosting a Normandy format summit, writes “Kommersant“. The parties discussed the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the implementation of the Minsk agreements behind closed doors; the meeting lasted more than two hours. Then the first bilateral talks between Presidents Putin and Zelensky took place, they lasted about an hour and a half.
Putin and Zelensky shook hands before the start of negotiations, said Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov. The protocol set aside about 45 minutes for the meeting of the presidents, however, according to Putin’s aide, Yuri Ushakov, the conversation is not limited in time.
According to Russian news agencies, from the Russian side, Alexander Novak, Alexey Miller, Vladislav Surkov, Yuri Ushakov, Sergey Lavrov and Dmitry Peskov participated in the meeting. Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky discussed a joint declaration, the press service of the Champs Elysees told reporters: “Yes, discussions are on a joint declaration.”
After negotiations with delegations, Presidents Putin and Zelensky held face-to-face talks that lasted less than half an hour.
After a bilateral meeting between Putin and Zelensky, negotiations began in a quadripartite format at dinner, after which a joint press conference was held.
When asked how his meeting with Zelensky went, Putin replied: “Okay, businesslike.”
"Good! In a businesslike way: Putin spoke about meeting with Zelensky pic.twitter.com/R3obo6ZSx4
- Dmitry Smirnov (@dimsmirnov175) December 9, 2019
“The bilateral meeting between President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Normandy format in Paris has ended,” wrote Yulia Mendel, Zelensky’s press secretary.
Following the press conference
The participants of the summit in the "Normandy" format agreed to adhere to the Steinmeier formula, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a press conference in Paris following the meeting. RIA News.
“We have achieved what we have been talking about here in Paris for many years, namely the implementation of the Steinmeier formula. This happened thanks to the courage of Ukraine, because this is Steinmeier's formula, it is very interesting ... It is about the sequence in which we are implementing different measures, ”Merkel said.
She added that it is specifically about the "addition to the Minsk agreement", in particular, the temporary granting of Donbass a special status during local elections, and after evaluating these elections, the OSCE will be able to introduce a special status on a permanent basis.
“This has now been accepted by Ukraine and agreed with Russia, it was a great breakthrough,” the chancellor said.
Breeding, exchange, ceasefire
The communiqué following the meeting says that the parties have reached an agreement on the exchange of prisoners in the “all for all” format. Such an exchange, the document says, should take place already this year - by December 31, writes Air force.
In addition, the parties managed to agree on a ceasefire and a partial separation of forces in the Donbass.
The Ukrainian media, citing sources in the Ukrainian delegation, said that Vladimir Putin proposed to disperse forces along the entire contact line, but Kiev did not go for it.
However, as evidenced by the text of the communique, the parties agreed on three new disengagement areas. Which ones are not specified. As of now, the disengagement of forces has already taken place in three areas in the Donbass - Stanitsa Luganskaya, Zolote and in the Petrovsky area.
The separation of forces in the new areas should take place before the end of March next year.
The parties also agreed to support the creation of new checkpoints along the demarcation line and stated that they "consider it necessary to incorporate" the Steinmeier formula "into Ukrainian legislation."
The next summit, the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany agreed to hold in four months.
"This is not enough for me"
“There are many issues that we have not been able to resolve today. I am sure we will definitely do this in the future, ”Volodymyr Zelenskyy said following the meeting.
He also noted that Ukraine will never make some concessions in the negotiations - in particular, he said about the impossibility of federalization and the impossibility of seizing Ukrainian territories.
“We all know that for every Ukrainian, both Crimea and Donbass are Ukraine,” Zelensky added.
“Many topics were discussed today ... The result for the first meeting is not enough for me, I want to solve more problems. But we discussed all these issues, they are on the agenda ”.
Among the issues on which it was not possible to agree is control over the border.
“The Russian president and I have different views regarding the transfer of borders, about when it is possible,” Zelensky said.
According to him, Vladimir Putin believes that control of the Ukrainian government should be transferred after the elections in the Donbass.
“I am raising the question that the transfer of the border should be before the elections. While we have different views. But we must find a way out in these issues. ”
Interlocutor "Ukrainian truth"From the Ukrainian delegation told the publication the following:" Regarding the border, they were hostile and did not agree. " According to the interlocutor, Putin insisted that elections should first take place in the uncontrolled territories, and only then Ukraine will be able to control the border. Volodymyr Zelenskyy did not agree with such a proposal.
Vladimir Putin, in turn, commenting on the results of the talks, said that he was satisfied with them, because progress was made on many issues: "The process is moving in the right direction."
Putin said, in particular, that there is “warming” in the issue of resolving the conflict in Donbass, and stated the need for direct negotiations between Kiev and representatives of the so-called “LPR” and “DPR”.
“It is very important that the parties to the conflict conduct a direct dialogue. Not a single conflict in the world has been resolved without direct dialogue, ”Putin said.
What is the essence of the Steinmeier formula
In September of the 2016 of the year, foreign ministers of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and France, Jean-Marc Herault visited Kiev Air force.
Prior to these negotiations, Europe supported the position of Ukraine and President Poroshenko that the implementation of the political block of agreements, that is, the holding of local elections in uncontrolled territories, as well as the consolidation of the special status of Donbass, is possible only after the implementation of the points of the Minsk agreements on the issue of security. The main ones are: the withdrawal of troops from the self-proclaimed "republics", the establishment of OSCE control over the Ukrainian-Russian border, the release of all hostages.
In Kiev, Steinmeier, with the support of his French colleague, proposed a compromise plan, in their opinion. The block of Minsk agreements in the security sphere should be implemented simultaneously with the political one, explaining this by the need to move the Minsk process off the ground.
It is important that these proposals were not fixed on paper, but were only proposed for discussion by the parties to the conflict.
In the Minsk documents, the holding of local elections on the territory of the ORDO is the penultimate, 12th point of the plan to resolve the crisis after a number of other steps, including an “immediate and comprehensive ceasefire”, the withdrawal of troops from the contact line, the withdrawal of foreign military formations, the establishment of OSCE control over the border.
The proposed "formula" provides for a fundamentally different mechanism. First - local elections in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine, temporary, and after confirmation of the democratic elections by the OSCE - permanent entry into force of the law on the peculiarities of local self-government in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
And simultaneously with the implementation of this law - the withdrawal of troops and the establishment of Ukraine's control over the eastern border.
According to RIA News, the first meeting of the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine took place on June 6, 2014, later this format was called “Norman”. The most important meeting of the Quartet is considered the summit in Minsk in February 2015, where the Minsk agreements were consolidated.
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