Foreign Minister “channel four” will discuss in Berlin the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis

MOSCOW, June 11. /TASS/. The meeting of the foreign Ministers of Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France Heiko Maas, Sergey Lavrov, Pavel Klimkin and Jean-Yves Le Drian on the issue of settlement of the conflict in the East of Ukraine will take place on Monday in Berlin. The talks will be held in the Villa of Germany’s foreign Ministry “Borsig”.

Negotiations “channel four”, which four years ago began attempts at a peaceful resolution of the situation in the Donbass, was not very long ago. Experts even started talking about the crisis in the Normandy format.

The last summit of the leaders of the “Quartet” of Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Petro Poroshenko took place on 19 October 2016 in Berlin. The key decision of the Berlin summit to establish a unified road map for the implementation of vинских agreements – remain unfulfilled. More than a year had no contacts at the level of foreign Ministers. The last such meeting was held in February 2017 when the participants were forced to acknowledge the lack of agreement in key areas.

Virtually stopped progress in the implementation of the basic requirements of the main document of the peace process – a Complex of measures to implement the Minsk agreements. At the fore of negotiations in the Russian-American format, and in the centre of the debate on the Ukrainian crisis was a new idea – a proposal of the President of the Russian Federation on the introduction of the UN mission in the Donbass.

Meanwhile, the situation on the contact line in the Donbass significantly worsened. After the announcement of Kiev from the end of April a new format of military operations the Armed forces of Ukraine began an offensive in the area of Gorlovka, occupying new settlements in the so-called grey area. For the last week of may, the OSCE has recorded 7.7 thousand violations of the truce in the Donbass, first Deputy head of the Special monitoring mission Alexander hug called this the worst period since the beginning of this year.

In these circumstances, the eyes of politicians once again turned to the “channel four”. While Moscow has consistently stated that a new meeting is possible only under condition of achievement of concrete results.

“Russia is ready [“Normandy format”] support, we are ready to meet at all levels, but of course each of these meetings should be well prepared and have something positive to end”, – said Vladimir Putin on 24 may at the press conference following the talks with President of France Emmanuel Macron.

In turn, Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Alexander Grushko in an interview with TASS said that “it must be at least a modest but concrete steps to implement the Minsk agreements as a political track and a security track”.

The main themes

Ahead of the meeting marked the different expectations of the parties and different approaches to the agenda of the forthcoming talks. Kiev hopes first of all to discuss in the “Normandy format” question about the possibility of introducing in Donbass the UN mission. The Ukrainian foreign Ministry said that this will be one of the main topics in Berlin.

In the Russian foreign Ministry was given to understand that they do not abandon discussion of this idea, but the main emphasis is planning to do on other issues. “All the topics that [are] on the agenda settlement of the Ukrainian crisis will be discussed, said Deputy foreign Minister of Russia Grigory Karasin, answering the question about possibility of discussion of the UN mission. – No closed topics, “Normandy format” for this and created.” However, Central to Moscow’s demands to do to start those paragraphs of the roadmap on which the Quartet agreed at previous meetings.