US is Open to Extended Negotiation Format in Minsk
President Zelensky proposed adding the US and the UK to the Normandy format
Photo Flickr/US Embassy Kyiv Ukraine
The United States special representative on Ukraine negotiations Kurt Volker stated that Washington supports the current format of negotiations on the situation in Eastern Ukraine, but would be ready to join the talks if needed, Yevropeiska Pravda [European Truth reported with reference to the Baltic Times.
“We have a very good cooperation with all of them. If there is a need for a larger format, of course, we will join. At the same time, we fully support the Normandy format,” he said.
Volker commented on a proposal by Ukraine’s new President Volodymyr Zelensky that the Normandy Four group, which now comprises Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany, be expanded to include the US and the United Kingdom.
“As I always said, the issue of these meetings has not been a format, the issue has been Russia’s political will to implement its obligations under the Minsk agreements,” Volker said.
“Whatever you can do to facilitate a genuine peace and Russia to implement Minsk agreements, we are ready to join and help,” Volker said.
“The Normandy format is meeting in coming weeks. We have been in close touch with the Ukrainians; we have been in close touch with the French and Germans. If there is a meeting of a different nature, of course we will join, but we are not pushing for that either. We are not worried about the format,” he added.
French President Emmanuel Macron has said recently that the Normandy Four may hold a new round of talks in the coming weeks to try to end the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
Macron said during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that there was a “real opportunity” for peace in Ukraine following the election of Zelensky.
On July 8, 2019, Zelensky proposed to Putin to have direct negotiations in Minsk, in an extended format, with the participation of the US President and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdome.