Lavrov confirmed meeting of Norman Four political directors in Paris on March 25

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Of the need for such a meeting, the Foreign Minister informed after the Verkhovna Rada’s decision on the Donbass status

The “Norman Four” political directors will meet in Paris on 25 March. This was stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“This is true,” said the Minister. “So far, only political directors will meet,” he said, answering the question whether it is also planned to conduct a ministerial meeting.

Last week, after the Verkhovna Rada’s decision on the status of Donbass, Lavrov pointed out that it was time to conduct talks in the “Norman format” on the Minsk agreements implementation.

The Russian Foreign Minister stressed that Kyiv’s decision on the special status of Donbass broke the Minsk agreements.

“I was highly surprised by the fact that on Poroshenko’s proposal the Verkhovna Rada made a decision that, in essence, grossly violated the Minsk Package of Measures (dated February 12), as the President of Ukraine had supported those agreements. The Rada’s decision causes the introduction of the law on the special status by the need to liberate “occupied” territories, and on the replacement of almost all the officials elected by the population of these territories by someone else,” he said.

“The decision of the Verkhovna Rada implies that only when these territories are headed by those who are acceptable for Kyiv, the law on the special status will come into force. It’s an attempt to put upside down all the things agreed,” Lavrov noticed.

Essence of Ukrainian Rada’s decision

On March 17, after more than six-hour negotiations, the Verkhovna Rada approved the list of Donbass areas, which are subject to a special procedure for local governments. Its introduction is postponed until new elections in the region in accordance with the Ukrainian legislation. The Rada also adopted a resolution according to which the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics were declared “temporarily occupied territories”.

The Ukrainian Parliament also asked the UN Security Council and the Council of the European Union to introduce peacekeepers to Ukraine.

Adoption of the resolution, indicating areas with special status, was specified by the Minsk agreements on 12 February. Kyiv should have adopted the resolution until March 14. However, it broke the terms and also made significant changes to the law.

The Heads of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky in a joint statement pointed out that no compromises were possible as long as were kept Poroshenko and Rada’s “disgraceful decisions” on the special status of Donbass.

According to the statement, “Denying the Donbass special status, Kyiv crushed the fragile “Minsk World” and brought the situation to a standstill. Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk cynically laughed at their EU partners who had taken so much effort to negotiate. The DPR and LPR declare that no compromises are possible as long as are kept Poroshenko and Rada’s disgraceful decisions made yesterday.”

Text and pictures by TASS