France’s Macron says US joining the Normandy peace talks is ‘a good sign’

12 January 2022, 01:00 PM

The participation of the United States in the Normandy peace process is a good sign, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Jan. 11 at a joint press conference with President of the European Council, Charles Michel.

“The Normandy format remains relevant and it is a suitable platform for resolving the crisis in Ukraine,” the French president said in response to a journalist’s question.

“In this context, the participation of the United States in this process is a good sign that we must welcome,” he added.

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The Normandy Four format of talks is a four-way discussion between Ukraine, France, Germany, and Russia, intended to help resolve the on-going conflict in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.

Macron stressed that on-going talks between the United States and Russia concern not only Ukraine, but also collective security between these two forces.

“We should not interfere with this dialogue or criticize it since it complements the efforts of Europe,” Macron said.

Earlier, Macron and newly-elected German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had agreed on a common stance that the Normandy Four negotiations should be resumed.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has stated that Russia has been putting forward unrealistic demands on Germany, France, and Ukraine in order to obstruct the talks, however.

Russian officials have in turn blamed Ukraine for delaying additional Normandy format discussions, accusing Ukraine of violating the Minsk Agreements, which were created as a way to provide a legal path to peace. However, international observers, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, have logged numerous ceasefire violations from Russian occupying forces in violation of the agreement.

A trilateral meeting involving the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Germany and France was held on Nov. 15 of last year.

According to Kuleba, the foreign ministers of Germany and France have been attempting to arrange a full meeting of the Normandy format foreign ministers throughout the year. However, their Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, has failed to find an opportunity to join them.

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