French President and Foreign Minister welcome progress on Ukraine ceasefire

Ukraine – Interview given by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, to Le Journal du Dimanche

Paris, 6 July 2014

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Q. – You were in Berlin on Wednesday with your Russian, German and Ukrainian counterparts. How can a lasting ceasefire and a political solution be secured, given Russia’s intransigent attitude?

THE MINISTER – France’s role, along with Germany – and we’ve been working on it since the meeting in Normandy on 6 June – is to achieve a de-escalation. The most urgent thing is to restore the ceasefire. In order to last, it must be respected by all parties. That’s what was lacking last time. Both the Russians and the Ukrainians are blowing hot and cold.

Having said that, Russia has made gestures – and they must be taken into account –, proposing that Ukrainians and the OSCE should come and observe the situation at specific points on its borders with Ukraine. But it’s necessary to go further in order to avoid illegal transfers of weapons and even fighters.

As for the political solution, it requires dialogue in the framework of the Ukraine-Russia contact group, with the OSCE’s support. That’s what we agreed on in Berlin this week. In Kiev it also requires, for example, the constitution to be modified to address the aspirations of Ukrainian society as a whole. (…)./.

Ukraine – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic

Paris, 4 July 2014

The President and Chancellor Merkel spoke jointly this morning to President Poroshenko.

They called for the implementation of the agreement reached in Berlin on 2 July between the French, German, Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers, to try and secure a lasting ceasefire.

They stressed to the Ukrainian President the importance of organizing a Contact Group meeting before 5 July, to agree to the conditions of the ceasefire. At the same time, direct contacts between Ukraine and Russia could be useful.

François Hollande and Angela Merkel also lent their support to the arrangements envisaged in Berlin for the control of the Russian-Ukrainian border. They confirmed that France and Germany, working with the OSCE, would facilitate their smooth implementation.

They also reiterated the importance of all hostages being released./.

Ukraine – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic

Paris, 3 July 2014

The President and Chancellor Merkel spoke jointly this morning to President Putin about the situation in Ukraine.

They stressed the importance of implementing the agreement reached in Berlin yesterday between the French, German, Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers to try and secure a bilateral ceasefire.

They called on the Russian President to support the organization of a Contact Group meeting before 5 July, to define the conditions of the ceasefire.

To this end, they asked President Putin to urge the separatists to negotiate and reach an agreement with the Ukrainian authorities.

The President and the German Chancellor lent their support to the arrangements proposed in Berlin yesterday for the control of the Russian-Ukrainian border. In conjunction with the OSCE, the French and German authorities will devote themselves to facilitating their implementation.

They also reiterated the need for all hostages to be released.

In the next few hours, François Hollande and Angela Merkel will be having a telephone conversation with President Poroshenko./.

Ukraine – Statements by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, at the joint press conference given by the German, Ukrainian, Russian and French foreign ministers

Berlin, 2 July 2014

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France agreed on the ways and means to move towards a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine and try to restore the necessary stability. I thank our friend Frank-Walter Steinmeier very much for welcoming us.

This welcome follows the repeated, in-depth conversations held between the Ukrainian President, the Russian President, the German Chancellor and the French President. We hadn’t been able to reach a full agreement in the previous days. The leaders of our four countries asked us to work, and this evening we can say the mission has been accomplished. The goal is well known: it’s a de-escalation of the violent and very tense situation existing in that region of Ukraine. To this end, we must agree on a whole series of issues: the ceasefire, the release of hostages, border controls, and other issues too. The agreement we reached this afternoon, of which you’re now aware, sets out the points where we can make progress.

Quite obviously, it hasn’t been easy. Quite obviously, it all has yet to be implemented. But it’s an important step forward from the situation prevailing until recent days. The task of diplomacy, everywhere and always, is to seek peace and security. I think the agreement reached between four countries in Berlin this afternoon is a step in the right direction, and we’ll be paying extremely close attention to its implementation in the coming hours and days. Thank you./.

Published on 08/07/2014

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