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What does Ukraine expect from Norman format summit in Astana?14 января 2015, 17:37

Flag of Ukraine. Photo courtesy of inforesist.com. Flag of Ukraine. Photo courtesy of inforesist.com.

Ukraine's temporary charge d'affaires in Kazakhstan Yuriy Lazebnik has explained what issues the Ukrainian leadership expects to address at the possible Norman format summit in Kazakhstan’s Astana, Tengrinews reports.

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 the Kazakh capital for the talks in the Norman format.

Foreign Ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine met in Berlin this Monday to try and make some progress in the peace talks on Ukraine, but the meeting did not produce the outcomes that enabling the countries to agree on the terms of the summit in Astana. Now, it all depends on the meeting of a contact group of Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE, after which the Foreign Ministers might meet again. 

“This is not only about the ceasefire and exchange of prisoners of war, which Russian TV channels emphasize. The point is to remove all the mercenaries from Ukraine’s territory and resume control of the Russian-Ukrainian border. Now all four sides of the so-called Norman format with Kazakhstan's assistance are working to implement all the Minsk agreements, so that the summit in Astana, a big event for which Kazakhstan has offered a platform, is successful and so that the settlement of the Ukrainian situation happens on Kazakhstan’s territory. Kiev truly hopes for it, " Yuriy Lazebnyk said at a briefing in Astana.

He stressed that Ukraine expected full implementation of Minsk agreements at the summit in the Kazakh capital. 

Lazebnyk also noted that regional elections had to be held in Donetsk and Lugansk regions in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine. "Kiev is ready to negotiate with all the representatives who will be chosen in this election. Yesterday, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that Kiev was ready to give special rights to Donbas in terms of cooperation with the European Union, in terms of collaboration with Russia, and in terms of language, but this requires plenipotentiaries of Lugansk and Donetsk regions. Currently, such representatives are Russian citizens. Many of them are officers of the Main Intelligence Directorate and others are with the special services. Of course, Kiev will not negotiate anything with such representatives," the Charge d'Affaires of Ukraine said.

As for the summit, Lazebnyk reminded that the Kazakh side declared its willingness to host the meeting of the Norman Quartet once the sides agreed on the meeting’s schedule.

The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will visit Kazakhstan during the first quarter of this year, he said. The 12th meeting of the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation will be held on the eve of the visit.  

Lazebnyk also expressed his gratitude to the people of Kazakhstan, the leadership of Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev for providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The food products including canned meat (127,875 cans), sugar (40 tons), buckwheat (150 tons) and vegetable oil (26,000 litres) totally worth $380 thousand arrived in Ukraine in early January.

Reporting by Renat Tashkinbayev, writing by Assel Satubaldina

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