Prospect of Normandy Quartet summit to get clearer after OSCE SMM certifies disengagement in Donbas - Russia's Lukashevich
There has been some progress in terms of settlement in Ukraine, and once there is positive dynamics, necessary environment will be in place for preparing and holding a Normandy Format summit, Russian Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich said at a session of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna.
"In the present circumstances, the ball is largely in Kyiv's court. Kyiv has yet to implement the Steinmeier Formula into the Ukrainian law. Also, it is important to understand that all necessary amendments in terms of granting Donbas a special status on a permanent basis are not limited to the adoption of the formula's text at the Contact Group," Lukashevich said in a speech quoted by the Russian Foreign Ministry on its website.
Prospects for the next Normandy Quartet summit "will get clearer after the OSCE SMM [Special Monitoring Mission] ascertains the fact of disengagement of forces and equipment in Petrivske and in Zolote," he said.
Lukashevich went on to recall that the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine came to an understanding at their Paris summit of 2015 and the Berlin meeting of 2016 that disengagement of military forces at Ukraine's Stanytsia Luhanska, Petrivske and Zolote, and a written commitment to adopt the Steinmeier Formula through the Contact Group were needed.
"The performance of those assignments paves the way to the next Normandy Four summit. Otherwise, it would be meeting for the sake of meeting, which may not be worth it. The Ukrainian leadership should not try using the Normandy Format summit for domestic political purposes rather than for making advancements in the settlement process," Lukashevich said.