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'Normandy Four' Countries Meet In Paris To Resolve Russia-Ukraine Conflict

'Normandy Four' Countries Meet In Paris To Resolve Russia-Ukraine Conflict

The leaders of the group, called “Normandy Four,” including the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Germany, and France, are meeting in Paris later on Monday over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine’s Donbass region between the government and pro-Russia militants.

What Is About To Happen

This will be the first formal meeting between the Russian president Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky over the issue, Foreign Policy noted.

The Normandy format talks, which started in 2014 to find a solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, were abandoned for more than three years between 2016 and 2019 until Zelensky expressed interest in reviving the talks.

Zelensky, who was elected to the office in May, has said that pursuing peace talks with Russia is his top priority. Earlier in July, he invited Putin to hold direct negotiations over the conflict.

“Let's discuss who Crimea belongs to and who isn't in the Donbass region,” Zelensky said in a YouTube video, addressing Putin.

The conflict in the region has killed more than 13,000 people and displaced about two million Ukrainians, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Why It Matters

Ukraine’s priority for the summit would be to get Russia to commit to implementing the Minsk agreement of 2015, according to Foreign Policy. 

This would include Ukraine gaining control over the border with Russia, the exchange of prisoners, and the ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons in the region.

Meanwhile, Russia is likely to insist on conducting elections in the region first, to maintain its influence over the region, Foreign Policy said.

Photo Credit: World Economic Forum via Wikimedia


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