Kiev, Feb 27 (IANS) Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said that a Normandy Four leaders summit is needed to achieve the progress in conflict resolution in Donbas, according to Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
“Despite all the efforts made at other levels, we understand that to take the next step, a decision is needed,” Kuleba said during a press conference after talks with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris.
For his part, the French diplomat said that there was some progress at the 2019 Normandy Four summit in Paris, Xinhua reported.
“We approved an action plan, and it is still relevant, on the table. We see that many commitments, in particular on security, have been observed for a certain period, in particular, the ceasefire,” said Le Drian.
Le Drian said that France will continue to monitor efforts made by the parties to fulfill the obligations in political terms, but at the same time focus on compliance with the security component.
At the summit of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine, known as the Normandy Four, in Paris on December 9, 2019, the parties issued a joint declaration and agreed to meet four months later in Berlin in order to continue work on resolving the situation in eastern Ukraine.
The declaration envisaged an updated demining plan, a ceasefire in the region by the end of the year and a separation of forces by the end of March 2020, a withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the demarcation line, a prisoner exchange and local elections, among other measures.
On July 27 last year, a ceasefire was declared in the region, which Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly called the most effective ceasefire in all the years of the conflict.
The ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, which has claimed the lives of some 14,000 people and left as many as 40,000 wounded, began in April 2014.