On December 9th, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of France Emmanuel Macron, Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting in the Normandy Four format at the Elysee Palace.
Prior to the meeting, Volodymyr Zelensky said that he would focus on four key issues in the meetings.
“The first issue is return of all detainees from Russia and Donbass. The second is to halt fire so that weapons won’t kill our service members. The third is to regain control over the border and finally, elections,” he said on the Ukrainian television, underscoring that those four issues “are key for Ukraine at the Normandy Four talks.”
According to German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebar, the so-called “Steinmeier formula” will be part of the negotiations in Paris.
The Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that the gas issue could be touched upon at the meeting if problematic issues remain that cannot be resolved at the working level. The Russian side does not consider discussing Crimea in any format whatsoever.
The first meeting Zelensky had was with the French President Macron, which began around 16:20 local time and ended at 17:15.
The President’s office reports that at the last meeting, French President Emmanuel Macron acquainted Vladimir Zelensky with the scenario and format of the negotiations.
He then had a bilateral meeting with Angela Merkel, immediately after and that ended around 18:10 local time. What was discussed is still unmentioned.
He furthermore had a meeting planned with Vladimir Putin that would take place later. Russian President Vladimir Putin himself met with both Merkel and Macron in separate meetings, as well.
Assistant to the President of Russia Yuri Ushakov said that the meeting between Zelensky and Putin will not be limited in time. And its duration will be determined by the presidents themselves. The main topic of the meeting, according to Ushakov, will be the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
At 18:30 local time the Normandy four meeting began, and the talks continued until 20:42. The press conference didn’t immediately begin.
Following the presumed end of the meeting Putin and Zelensky went in for their bilateral meeting.
The deputy head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office Kirill Timoshenko at a briefing said that the participants of the Norman Four will go to the press as soon as a common communiqué is prepared.
At 21:08 local time, the office of the President of Ukraine reported that negotiations in the Normandy Four were interrupted for the bilateral meeting between Zelensky and Putin.
The meeting between Putin and Zelensky ended at 22:01 local time.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was pleased with the results of his meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky.
“Good, I’m pleased,” he told reporters, answering the question of how his meeting with Zelensky went, and whether he was pleased with it.
Meanwhile, in Ukraine there are mass protests in front of the Presidential office.
“The protesters are demanding that national interests not be surrendered and that no concessions be made to Russia during the meeting in the Normandy Four in Paris. They also oppose the further withdrawal of troops in the Donbass,” Ukrainian outlet 112 reported.
Some protesters have been there for 24 hours and plan to stay until morning.
“And at the entrance to the Presidential Office, law enforcement officers installed several dozen frames. For everyone who wants to get into the courtyard of the OP, law enforcement officers check their bags. Some of the protesters spent the night in tents and plan to stay until night,” 112 added.
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