27 Jan 2020 10:34

German ambassador to Russia believes Normandy-format meeting possible on Munich Security Conference's sidelines

MOSCOW. Jan 27 (Interfax) - The forthcoming Munich Security Conference could play host to the Normandy-format discussion of the Ukraine situation, German Ambassador to Russia Geza Andreas von Geyr said in an interview published by the newspaper Kommersant on Monday.

"The Munich Security Conference is a key meeting point, which could be used for consultations on the most pressing and strategically important aspects of the security policy. It will be wonderful if it is attended by a representative Russian delegation ready for energetically participating in the debate. No doubt, the Ukraine issue will play an important role in many conversations. It is quite possible that it may be discussed in the Normandy format [between the foreign ministers]. However, I cannot confirm plans to hold this meeting for now," von Geyr said.

"It was the Normandy format that allowed us to make much practical headway in recent weeks and months," he said.

"It would suffice to mention the disengagement of forces, the prisoner swap, or the Steinmeier Formula, which lays down the sequence of actions in the elaboration of the future structure of the region that would be accepted by all. This dynamics, this impulse should be preserved, and confidence building measures should be continued. Importantly, the next meeting of the chiefs of state should be well prepared to the last detail, just like the previous one. It will be even better if this is done by April," the ambassador said.

The Normandy format comprising Ukraine, Germany, France, and Russia was established in 2014 for settling the armed conflict in Ukraine. The Normandy format was launched at a meeting between the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France on June 6, 2014, in the course of celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the landing of allied troops in Normandy during WWII.