Meeting of advisers to Normandy 4 leaders likely in Jan

Kiev, Dec 29 : A meeting of the political advisers to the heads of Normandy Four countries may take place in January 2021, a senior official has confirmed here.

Head of the Ukrainian President’s Office Andriy Yermak said that the participants in the upcoming talks can agree on a date for the meeting, reports Xinhua news agency.

Ermak also said that the work in the Normandy format continues, adding that it does not even stop for a day.

De-mining work at 19 agreed areas in the east of Ukraine will start at the beginning of next year and the parties also agreed on four troops pull back zones along the contact line, the official added.

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At the summit of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine, known as the Normandy Four, in Paris on December 9, 2019, the parties issued a joint declaration and agreed to meet four months later in Berlin in order to continue work on resolving the situation in eastern Ukraine.

The declaration envisaged an updated de-mining plan, a ceasefire in the region by the end of the year and a separation of forces by the end of March 2020, a withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the demarcation line, a prisoner exchange and local elections, among other measures.

But due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the March 2020 summit in Berlin was indefinitely postponed.

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The ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, which has claimed the lives of some 14,000 people and left as many as 40,000 wounded, began in April 2014.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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