Merkel and Poroshenko Agree to Hold Normandy Format Meeting
During a telephone conversation Wednesday President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel spoke in favor of holding a meeting of foreign ministers in the Normandy format and to discuss the situation in Donbas, including the issue of deploying peacekeepers.
"Petro Poroshenko and Angela Merkel have agreed to hold the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Normandy group in the nearest time to negotiate topical issues on the further progress in the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements and the organization of peacekeeping mission in Donbas," the president's official web-site press release said Wednesday.
In mid-February the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine met in the Belarusian capital Minsk and worked out a deal aimed at ending the military conflict between Kiev forces and Donbas militia. The initiative of deploying UN or EU peacekeepers to Donbas was first announced by Poroshenko in February. In March he submitted a bill to the country's parliament asking the UN Security Council and the Council of Europe to authorize a peacekeeping mission.
Moscow has questioned the need for such a mission since the Minsk agreements between Kiev and eastern Ukraine's independence supporters envisage that only monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) oversee the implementation of the ceasefire and heavy weaponry withdrawal by Ukraine's conflicting sides.