The Parliamentary Assembly (PA) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) delegation is paying a visit to Kiev this week and has lauded resumption of talks between the Ukrainian and Russian leaders. The delegation has also welcomed the outcome of the recent Normandy Four summit in Paris, urging Ukraine to abide by obligations assumed at the high level, the press release published on Thursday reads.
“OSCE PA delegation encourages Ukraine to implement Normandy Four commitments to maintain conflict resolution momentum,” the press release is entitled.
OSCE representatives had a meeting with Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) speaker Dmitry Razumkov to discuss the summit results as well as “appropriate legislative efforts underway” in the country. “The delegation encouraged the Verkhovna Rada to maintain the high pace of the parliament’s follow-up legislation to the Paris agreements,” the press release emphasized.
“We also stand firmly for peacefully resolving the conflict through political and diplomatic means. The recent high-level dialogue between Ukraine and the Russian Federation is a ray of hope and we must build on this momentum to follow up swiftly and keep full implementation of the Minsk agreements high on the agenda of all sides,” OSCE PA President George Tsereteli commented. He added that he “was glad to see the commitment for the next meeting of the Normandy Four within four months.”
A Normandy Four summit was held in Paris on December 9, for the first time after a three-year break. Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Emmanuel Macron of Germany, Vladimir Zelensky of Ukraine and German Chancellor Angela Merkel gathered in the Elysee Palace to discuss ways of settling the conflict in Donbass. One of the outcomes emerged in the talks was a decision for the parties to the conflict to swap all determined detainees on the ‘all-for-all’ basis before the end of the year. The summit participants committed to ensure a full and comprehensive ceasefire until the end of 2019 as well as agreed to support the agreement reached by the Contact Group on settlement in east Ukraine on three additional areas for disengagement of forces and hardware in the conflict zone by the end of March 2020.
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 southeast Ukrainian region of Donbass. Since then, the Normandy Four has held a series of phone talks and summit meetings, along with meetings of foreign ministers and other officials. The previous Normandy Four summit took place in Berlin in October 2016.