January 14, 2015
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s press statement following a meeting of foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine in Berlin, January 12, 2015
Consultations in the Normandy format, involving the foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine, have just concluded. A joint press statement was released following the meeting.
The parties thoroughly discussed the situation in Ukraine with an eye toward a potential summit in Astana. We confirmed our commitment to achieving a comprehensive and exclusively peaceful resolution of the crisis, including the start of a stable political process. The role of the Minsk agreements as the basis for a settlement was reaffirmed, and all parties must implement them in full. We stressed the importance of strictly observing the ceasefire. The ministers called for the Contact Group to hold a meeting in coming days in order to make progress toward the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, including necessary prerequisites for an effective truce, agreements on the delivery of humanitarian aid, and additional releases of detained individuals. The ministers believe this would contribute to organising a successful summit in Astana. We agreed that there is more work to do. Also, I would like to note that there is growing recognition that without an adequate constitutional process involving all the regions and political forces of Ukraine it will be difficult to agree on other more specific issues, every one of which is important. The political process behind constitutional reform must provide a basis for implementing the Minsk agreements, including strict observance of the ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy artillery and equipment, more efficient delivery of humanitarian aid, prisoner releases and support for the special status of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics, as well as the economic recovery of Donbas. There is an understanding that after a meeting of the Contact Group, hopefully within the next few days, the ministers of the Normandy quartet will meet again to discuss the prospects and scheduling of a possible summit in Astana.
The Russian side stressed that