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Merkel, Macron, Putin & Zelensky meet in Paris to find solution to crisis in East Ukraine (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 401.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the Normandy Four summit in Paris, France where the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany declared progress in settling the ongoing conflict in East Ukraine.

This was the first summit between the four nations in three years, ending with a comprehensive agreement on the full implementation of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine before the end of 2019.


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Via Anadolu Agency…

The leaders of the Normandy Four countries — Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine — declared progress Monday following a meeting in Paris.

Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to renew and expand the mandate of observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) working in eastern Ukraine.

They unanimously approved a 24-hour mandate for OSCE observers to monitor the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine with unlimited access to all areas instead of the 12 hours the current mandate allows.

In addition, the four leaders spoke in favor of implementing an updated demining plan aimed at avoiding civilian casualties.

The parties to the conflict have also agreed to a full exchange of prisoners of war before the end of December. Until then, the Red Cross must have free access to the captives.

They also agreed to withdraw troops from three disengagement points by March 2020 in addition to the three locations where this already took place in 2019.

The settlement of Stanitsa Luganskaya was mentioned as one of these points. Other such settlements will be defined within the framework of the contact group working in Minsk.

The leaders charged the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine with discussing the conditions that will allow the holding of local elections in eastern Ukrainian territory.

Merkel, Macron, Putin and Zelensky also agreed to gather in four months for another summit to check on the work done and design measures necessary to further promote conflict settlement.

Commenting on the results of the meeting, Merkel said she had the impression that all of the participants had goodwill and a firm intention to achieve progress in settling the conflict.

Russian-Ukrainian disagreements and talks on gas transit

According to Zelensky, the two most difficult questions in his bilateral negotiations with Putin were the renewal of Russian gas transit via Ukraine and holding local elections in eastern Ukrainian territory.

He stressed that his views were diametrically opposed to his Russian counterpart on the issue of border control.

“For Ukraine, it is important to ensure control over all its borders. At the talks with President Putin, I stressed the necessity of the pullout of foreign militant groups and the disarmament of militants,” said Zelensky, adding he considered it possible to hold local elections only based on Ukrainian legislation.

Regarding passing a bill on granting a special status to the separatist regions, he said he thought it could limit Ukraine’s sovereignty and allow external forces to put pressure on the country’s foreign policy.

Zelensky said the issue of gas transit was opened at the meeting and discussions will be continued by appointed advisors of the two presidents.

In turn, Putin said he insisted on committing the special status of the separatist regions to legislation because it is suggested by the Minsk agreement, which is a roadmap for the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict approved by Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine.

“The position on the border — our position — it is necessary to fulfill the Minsk agreement. It says Ukraine begins to establish control over this territory the day after the elections and finally this process is completed after the end of all these procedures. All the points of the agreement are linked. If you violate one point [of the agreement], the rewriting of others will begin, and then everything will collapse,” he said.

Putin added that it was possible to speak about a thaw between Moscow and Kiev.

“Can we speak about thaw? I think yes. We have now met in the Normandy format and discussed a very important wide range of issues, and we have made progress on many of them,” he said, noting that the work was “very useful”.

Putin vowed to do everything to end the conflict in Ukraine but stressed the necessity of direct dialogue between the separatist regions and Kiev.

As for gas deliveries, he said Russia was ready to sell the fuel to Ukraine 25% cheaper than it currently pays for European supplies.

Russia to expel two German diplomats

Commenting on the expulsion of two Russian diplomats from Germany over a “lack of cooperation” in the investigation of the murder of former Chechen militant Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, Putin said it was “inappropriate” and promised that Russia’s response will be identical.

Putin said in criminal affairs, it was necessary to cooperate on all stages, recalling that Russia requested Khangoshvili’s extradition many times but did not find Germany understanding.

Germany expelled two Russian diplomats Wednesday for Moscow’s alleged role in the murder of 40-year-old Khangoshvili in Berlin.

Khangoshvili fought against Russians during the Second Chechen War from 1999 to 2009 and worked in both Georgia and Ukraine against Russian interests, according to Deutsche Welle.

Russia sees political motivation in WADA decision to ban its athletes

Asked about the decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to ban Russian athletes from international sporting events, Putin said that as there were no complaints about the Russian National Olympic Committee, the Russian team must compete under the national flag as it is prescribed by the Olympic Charter.

He explained that according to the legal norms, punishments cannot be collective and apply to people who have nothing to do with certain violations.

“Decisions on collective punishments show that they are based not on concern for the purity of world sport but on political considerations that have nothing to do with the interests of sport and the Olympic movement,” he said.

On Monday, WADA announced its decision to ban Russia from major international competitions for four years. Russian athletes will be able to compete under a neutral flag and the country’s officials and representatives will be barred from participation.

WADA also prohibited Russia from hosting and bidding for hosting major events during the same period.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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Olivia KrothSmoking EagleJim ReedManintheMoonJohn Ellis Recent comment authors
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Wesaf
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Wesaf

Seems like a good start heading in the right direction. Give the US and the UK time they will f—k it up for sure. Was just thinking how the countries of Europe can make progress without the US. The gas price seems to be the same as before only hope the Ukrainians don’t get smart and try to resell it like last time. Good to see progress however small it may be.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

Massive amounts of blowback need to be heaped on Empire USA for the Ukraine fascist coop. Never saw so many nukes in Wester Europe being loaded and ready to fire.

Foghorn Leghorn
Guest
Foghorn Leghorn

The idea of containing these Ukie-fascists in a coop is an intriguing one. Maybe the chicken wire left over from Yatsenyuk’s fabled 2 mile long ‘border wall’ with Russia can be put to use.

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

A fascist of white European blood, he desires above all things to be enriched upon the misery of those with less education, less wealth or less whiteness of skin.

American Graffiti
Guest
American Graffiti

A dozen American think tanks are busy consulting with each other on how they can best tank any rapprochement between the two states.

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

What those in a rebellion want most, be war or peace, that is what it shall be. Yes, Empire USA funded by billions the Ukraine coup, but, just as it is in Lebanon, Iraq, Chili and Columbia, the organized morality of society always has the last word.

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

Just as Adghanistan has it’s Warlords, in like perversion Ukraine has a
power combine of violent fascist Oligarchy. All because most everyone
in Ukraine has an illusion that they deserve to be rich, it being the root
cause for why they love to be in submission and worship to the Oligarchy so rich.

ManintheMoon
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ManintheMoon

A really interesting analysis on Ukraine – indeed exactly the sort of post I look for on the Duran every day. Indeed this and the earlier post of Horowitz (which was equally interesting although mabea bit more wishful thinking – we will see?), has prompted me to buy another couple of ‘magic mugs’! Alexander seems to me spot on in his view of the constraints on Zelenski. As it was I happened to switch on RT while the press conference was being broadcast and think I saw most of it. I did notice that Zelenski kept emphasising the people he… Read more »

Smoking Eagle
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Smoking Eagle

From 2016: “A United Nations report says that Russia became the world’s single largest recipient of asylum requests last year because of the war in eastern Ukraine. According to the Federal Migration Service, there are 2.6 million refugees from Ukraine especially from Eastern Ukraine in Russia.”

Ukrainians also fled to neighbouring countries, particularly Poland, at the rate of about 1/4 million a year.

Jim Reed
Guest

Where’s HATO?

Olivia Kroth
Guest

It is the Russian form of NATO. North Atlantic Terror Organization.

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