Meeting “Norman Quartet” with the participation of presidents of Russia, Ukraine and France — Vladimir Putin, Petro Poroshenko and Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which took place on Friday in Paris, was delayed almost five hours.
Putin left the Elysee Palace first, not going to the journalists. Poroshenko on the questions of the reporters also did not respond, making a statement from the Embassy. The press conference gave Merkel and Hollande. The French leader noted “new developments” in the negotiations, the German Chancellor noted some convergence in the positions between Poroshenko and Putin. But in his interview with Deutschlandfunk on Sunday, Merkel urged not to rush into statements about the success of this round of talks.
Press Secretary of the Russian President of Russia Dmitry Peskov called the talks “reconciliation of hours over the course of the implementation of the most important provisions of the Minsk agreements”.
The question on cancellation of elections set
The key controversial issue is the holding of local elections on the territory of national republics — was not finally resolved. The governments in Donetsk and Luhansk called for the election unilaterally (in DND they have to go on October 18th-LPR — 1 November), explaining that the Ukrainian side has not implemented the constitutional process of transfer of powers to the Donbass. In Kiev unilateral steps of the DPR and LPR was considered a direct violation of the Minsk agreements. Poroshenko in late September, promised to do “everything possible” to prevent the elections; called upon Putin to put pressure on the leadership of the DND and LNR, so they canceled the vote and Vice President Joe Biden.
Peskov did not directly speak, took a position on this issue during the negotiations Putin. Official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova had previously commented in that spirit that, even appointing local elections, the people’s Republic of Kiev to leave room for further compromise.
As said Sunday in an interview with TV channel Arte Hollande, during the meeting “channel four” was considered the ability to cancel the “elections “separatists” in Eastern Ukraine was scheduled to hold on October 18 and November 1″.
Moscow has not officially reacted to this idea. “Of course, President Putin could not commit himself, and especially to accept some parameters. The President promised that in a few days will give the Commission to discuss these issues with official representatives of the DND and LNR”, — said Peskov. According to him, the Russian side stressed that to speak of election in isolation from other points of the constitutional reform and Amnesty is unacceptable, said Peskov. “And timing, and modality, and all of this will depend on the decisions of representatives LNR, DND”, — he said on Saturday on air of TV channel “Russia 1”.
A source close to the leadership of the breakaway republics, gave to understand that the positive decision of a question on cancellation of elections will depend on the willingness of Kiev to implement the political part of Minsk agreements in its entirety. “There are high hopes that after Paris Kiev will reconsider its tactics and will begin to discuss with the Donbas political settlement,” he said.
The proposals of the tripartite group
Representatives from DND and LNR in the contact group Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Danego had previously made that local elections can be postponed to 21 February 2016. As said Deinega, the people’s Republic has prepared the “schedule with appropriate deadlines” of each point in the political part of Minsk agreements.
Earlier in the tripartite contact group (OSCE, Russia, Ukraine) there was a compromise initiative, dubbed “plan Morell” named French diplomat Pierre Morel. For the elections in the Donbass, the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada should adopt a special law on the ballot there, taking into account the wishes and guidance of the rebellious territories. It can determine, for example, the composition of electoral commissions or the rules of election coverage in the media, it is assumed in the document.
Statements of participants of negotiations have not clarified the situation with the elections in the breakaway republics, this issue will be resolved next week, says Ukrainian political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko. In Minsk on Monday there will be meetings of the working groups of the tripartite contact group, including the political. The elections will be on them raised, said the source close to the leadership of the republics.
“It is significant that Putin after the talks did not talk to the press. Instead, the theme was made by Sands, which gave a very streamlined response. If in the course of the next week, Moscow will decide to compromise with Western colleagues, the election will take,” — says Fesenko. Thus, he notes, the amendments to the electoral legislation in accordance with the “Morell” is unlikely to pass through Parliament, because a large part of Ukrainian society “does not support concessions to the “separatists”.
The withdrawal of troops
The main outcome of the negotiations can be considered as achieving agreement on the withdrawal of the parties to the conflict light weapons from the contact line. “The withdrawal is expected to begin tomorrow at midnight”, he said. Ukraine and rebels agree to withdraw weapons in 40 days. However, the next day, the parties said the timing of the withdrawal of weapons of a calibre less than 100 mm: Kiev has announced that it will first prepare a list dedicated to the relocation of equipment, and in Donetsk reported that the withdrawal will begin on 18 October, and during this time, clashes should not happen. In Luhansk on Saturday said that the first column of tanks LNR has moved away from the separation line 15 km Behind the withdrawal of troops should follow OSCE monitoring mission, according to its Deputy head Alexander hug, the first stage of the withdrawal of equipment will begin two days after the full ceasefire and will be implemented in most security zones in Luhansk region, after 15 days will begin the second stage of weapons will be available across the demarcation line.
Monitoring the OSCE mission will carry out and all over the Russian-Ukrainian border, controlled by the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics; in addition, free access observers must be given to the whole territory under the control of the governments of the republics. From the words Poroshenko that this requirement has exposed Ukraine.