President Petro Poroshenko expressed gratitude to leaders of France and Germany for the efforts aimed at the establishment of peace and de-occupation of the east of Ukraine.
"I am grateful for a clear and principled position of our French and German partners, President of the European Commission and leaders of the EU member-states for the continuation of sanctions. Ukraine is committed to the Minsk agreements and the fulfillment of the undertaken obligations. Continuation of sanctions is directly related to the process of de-occupation," the Head of State noted in the press statement in Paris. The President emphasized that the process of de-occupation provides for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Ukrainian territory, termination of supply of weaponry, ammunition and equipment, provision of unimpeded access for the OSCE SMM to all areas, including Ukrainian-Russian border, liberation of hostages and beginning of political process.
In his turn, Francois Hollande reminded that the first sanctions against Russia had been imposed after the illegal annexation of Crimea when the principles of the international law hadn't been observed. Then, they have been reinforced in order to stimulate the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements. "We will be ready to continue the monitoring mechanism. In case of full implementation of the Minsk agreements, gradual lifting of sanctions is possible. However, this hasn't been implemented yet. Everything is closely linked with the Minsk agreements," Francois Hollande stressed.
According to the French leader, all opportunities and occasions are used to fully implement the Minsk agreements. "We prepare a new meeting in the Normandy format in order to increase progress and stimulate further implementation of the Minsk process," he informed.
The President noted that the Ukrainian party had formed proposals on the agenda of the meeting in the Normandy format. "These are the discussion of the security criteria, the OSCE armed police mission in the occupied territories, liberation of hostages, formation of a road map with special attention to the issues of consistency and guarantees of fulfillment of the undertaken commitments under the Minsk process," the Head of State said.
Petro Poroshenko noted that the recent events and steps proved the efficiency of the Normandy format, because the parties had managed to form a document signed by four heads of state, including the Russian leader. This document allows us to require clear and consistent fulfillment of the undertaken commitments.