A Normandy Four meeting of advisers (Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine) held in Paris on July 12 was meaningful and pragmatic, Vadim Pristayko, deputy chief of the Ukrainian presidential staff, told a briefing in Kiev on Tuesday.
"In spite of absolutely fundamental disagreements, for example, on the cause of war [in Donbass] between Ukraine and Russia, I want to admit that the talks were actually productive and pragmatic," TASS quoted him as saying.
According to Pristayko, the sides "were able to achieve some agreements."
"We came to an agreement on ceasefire, a so-called ‘harvest’ ceasefire, on the disengagement of troops and weapons, and on the demining efforts near Stanitsa Luganskya and two other areas that had been negotiated before. Besides, more areas were designated to be demined and disengaged," Pristayko said.
Apart from that, the talks touched upon other issues, in particular the steps to "alleviate the situation in the field of socioeconomic ties" with the areas not controlled by Kiev, namely the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR respectively).
The July 12 meeting of advisers in Paris was the first since Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky had been sworn in. Pristayko pointed out that the sides "set a deadline of about a month to resolve some issues." "We agreed that we would meet to evaluate the progress of our July accords," he explained. "We are planning to do it at the end of the summer."
Thus, the next round of talks between foreign policy advisers to the leaders of Normandy Four group (comprising Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine) is due in August.
Zelensky’s official hopes that the Wednesday meeting of the Contact Group seeking peace for east Ukraine will focus on those issues. On Tuesday, President Vladimir Zelensky is holding a meeting with "the Ukrainian delegation to the Minsk talks," according to Pristayko.
The first talks of the Normandy Four group took place in France in June 2014 amid commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the landing of allied troops in Normandy. Then the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany met for the first time to find a solution to the conflict in the southeastern Ukrainian region of Donbass. Since then, the Normandy Four group has held a series of phone talks and summit meetings, along with meetings of foreign ministers and other officials.