Foreign ministers call for de-escalation in Ukraine
Ukraine/meeting of foreign ministers in the Normandy format – Statement by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development
Paris, 23 June 2015
The foreign ministers of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine had a meeting in Paris on 23 June 2015 to discuss the ceasefire in Ukraine and the political process to ensure that the Minsk agreements are fully implemented.
We took stock of how the agreements are being applied and reaffirmed our commitment to their full implementation.
We expressed our deep concern about the aggravation of the security situation in Donbass. We call for a rapid de-escalation and an immediate ceasefire, both of which would enable progress on the political, humanitarian and socio-economic aspects.
We recall that the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission is playing an essential role in the de-escalation process.
We emphasize the crucial role of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in preparing and holding local elections, and the need for political dialogue between Ukraine and the representatives of certain areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
We agreed on the importance of the following points:
To call on all parties to comply fully with the withdrawal of heavy weapons. We welcome the meeting of the Working Group on Security, to be held on 2 July. We call on the participants to seek an agreement by 26 June on the withdrawal of tanks and certain weapons under 100mm in diameter. This withdrawal must be implemented in the coming weeks;
To reaffirm the need to conclude and implement a de-escalation plan for Shyrokyne, as a first measure on the path to broader demilitarization along the contact line;
To end restrictions to OSCE observers’ access, which hinder the process of verifying the withdrawal of heavy weapons and are contrary to the Minsk agreements;
To remove obstacles to the delivery of aid to the conflict zone and urgently consult the ICRC, in order to achieve concrete results and alleviate the suffering of the people affected;
To release prisoners in accordance with the “all-for-all” principle.
The ministers confirmed that France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine remain determined to continue acting in this format and doing everything in their power to ensure commitments are honoured and the crisis resolved./.