Norman format summit in Astana being prepared: German Foreign Minister14 january 2015, 13:08
The Norman format meeting in Astana with the participation of leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France aimed at resolving the situation in Ukraine is at the stage of preparations, Tengrinews reports citing RIA Novosti.
The countries still have some disagreements about the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine as well as about the summit in Astana that will involve the four sides.
According to the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, preparations for the summit in Astana were taking place. “This was a long, but, as you must have noticed, open exchange of views, including on the points where we disagree. The differences in our opinions that still remain once again show how difficult it is to attain progress on the way to achieving a political solution and before the summit in Astana that is expected by many and that will be prepared,” German Foreign Minister said after the meeting of Foreign Ministers of Norman Quartet in Berlin this Monday.
Steinmeier also said that the meeting did not produce the outcomes that were necessary for the countries involved to move forward.
Instead, the four ministers were only able to affirm their "strong commitment to a swift and comprehensive peaceful solution of the current crisis, including a sustainable political process", AFP reported.
Meanwhile, there is a possibility that the Foreign Ministers will meet again next week after representatives of the ministries will meet in the coming days to bridge the differences in the opinions. “We have agreed that if a progress is made at that level in the coming days, then we will be ready to meet again next week and resume the discussion that have begun today,” he said on January 13.
In addition, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov believes that whether the Norman summit in Astana will be held or not depends on the outcomes of the negotiations of the contact group of Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE that is expected to meet in the coming days. “There is an understanding that after the meeting of the contact group, which, we hope, will meet in the coming days, the ministers of Norman Quartet will meet again and discuss the prospects and schedule of the possible summit in Astana," Lavrov said.
Today, the spokesperson of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Yevgeniy Perebiynis voiced the same opinion. Moreover, he said the exact date of the summit had not been defined yet since everything depended on the contact group’s talks in Ukraine. “The statement adopted yesterday in Berlin made it clear that the meeting would only be possible if the agreements, particularly those related to the implementation of the Minsk Agreement, are achieved. So far, of course, no conditions exist, but yesterday we agreed to work on the relevant decisions to make that meeting possible,” Yevgeniy Perebiynis said.
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 diplomatic year in 2015 would begin with a visit to Kazakh capital for the talks in the Norman format.
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan declared its willingness to prepare a platform for the meeting at any time convenient for the parties involved.
By Assel Satubaldina