Petro Poroshenko declares it’s too soon to talk about the end of the military conflict
Talks were held on October 2nd between Vladamir Putin, Angela Merkel, Petro Poreshenko and Francois Hollande labeled the Normandy Four talks. Talks between the leaders were aimed at assessing the Minsk II agreements progress since they were reached back in February.
During the talks Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko said that despite a ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and rebel forces in the east it is too early to speak about an end to the military conflict in Donbass. President Putin has promised to have a discussion with representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics.
A truce was only reached near the end of August. Withdrawal of heavy weaponry has generally been adhered to with the occasional spat of claims and counter claims of violations of the agreements by both sides. There is a lot of evidence of violations but the leaders were able to reconcile.
The leaders agreed that the Minsk agreements had been widely respected but admitted there was much more work to be done. Leaders were able to reconcile on some issues concerning Heavy weapons withdrawal. The Pullout of small arms, tanks and other munitions began on Saturday 3rd of October.
President Hollande stated that the full implementation of Minsk II would not be likely to take place before the end of the year. The elections in eastern Ukraine cannot be held on October 18th Hollande said, it must be held no less than 80 days after Kiev passes a new electoral law.
“It’s therefore likely, even certain now, that – since we need three months to organize elections – we would go beyond the date that was set for the end of Minsk, that is to say Dec.31, 2015,” he told a news conference.
After the meeting German and French leaders concluded that the talks ended on a positive note. A date for the next Normandy Four talks was reached and will take place again next month.