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Norman Quartet meeting in Astana on hold

12 january 2015, 19:54

The meeting in Astana in Normandy format (Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France) to resolve the situation in Ukraine may be canceled, Tengrinews reports citing Vedomosti.

According to the news outlet, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear that such a meeting was premature in her telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on January 10. The meeting will be possible after all the sides make progress in the implementation of the Minsk Agreement and Russia will use its influence over separatists in Ukraine, she said.

Executive director of Russian-German forum Martin Hoffman believes that European leaders should change their approach to the Ukrainian crisis. Escalation of terrorist threat in Europe shows the European leaders how important it is to abstain from further escalating the situation and find a compromise in their approach to the Ukrainian crisis, he said.

Press secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov said that Putin's participation in the meeting would depend on the results of preparatory work at the level of experts.

It was earlier announced that the meeting would take place on January 15 in Kazakhstan’s Astana. In particular, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said that his political season in 2015 would begin with visiting the Kazakh capital for the talks in the Normandy Format. Kazakhstan declared its willingness to prepare a platform for the meeting. Kazakh political analyst Yerlan Karin called Astana the “optimal platform” for the talks on the Ukrainian crisis.

On January 12 ministers of the four countries will gather for a meeting in Berlin, where, among other things, they will discuss the possibility of the meeting of the heads of the states in Kazakhstan's Astana.

However, Researcher of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Sasha Tamm considers the prospects of the Astana summit to be clouded. "Moscow continues to say that it is an internal problem of Ukraine. Kiev says that there are separatists. And nobody is reaching concessions," the expert said as quoted by Vedomosti.

Writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

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