Russia is ready to discuss the settlement of the crisis in eastern Ukraine in the Normandy format (Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany), but it’s important to honor the agreements reached by the Contact Group, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told an international forum, the Primakov Readings, on Tuesday.
"We are prepared to meet in any formats, but it’s important to remember that the key mechanism of fulfilling the Minsk agreements is the Contact Group, which is the only platform where Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk are working together with the assistance of Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe," Lavrov is quoted as saying by TASS.
Russia’s foreign minister noted that no progress in ironing out the Ukrainian crisis can be reached without fulfilling the Contact Group’s agreements. "The Normandy format cannot impose its decisions if the parties fail to come to terms," he said.
The Contact Group for settling the eastern Ukrainian crisis was set up on June 8, 2014. Later, four working subgroups on security, political, economic and humanitarian issues were also established.
The Minsk agreements of September 2014 were reached with the assistance of the Contact Group’s members. During the summit in the Normandy format in February 2015 in Minsk, the sides agreed on a document, the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, known as Minsk-2.