France Ready For Closer Cooperation With USA And UK On Donbas, But Warns Ukraine Against Changing Normandy Format
France is ready for closer cooperation with the United States and the United Kingdom on the issue of resolving the situation in Donbas, but warns Ukraine against changing the Normandy Format (Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France).
The Ambassador of France to Ukraine Etienne de Ponsen said this, Ukrainian News Agency reports.
“We are pragmatists and we are confident that changing the format of negotiations … everything is in Russia’s political will. Will it want to take on any responsibility?” he said during a roundtable.
He noted that he had heard many times about some kind of plan B for Donbas, but still does not know its essence.
The ambassador stressed that while this plan B is not implemented, Ukraine is obliged to fulfill plan A – the Minsk Agreements and negotiations in the Normandy Format.
“We do not think that the discussion of the format is completely meaningless, but it should contain elements that would make sense. If we want to change the format, the problem will be how much Russia will perceive it, whether it wants to modify the existing format,” de Ponsen said.
He also stressed that sanctions against the Russian Federation are tied to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.
“If there is no Minsk, there will be no sanctions for its failure,” he said.
Therefore, in his words, “it is worth thinking twice when entering this territory.”
“The U.S. would like to be more involved. We could consider this,” the ambassador said.
In particular, France is ready to discuss interaction at the level of the return of the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine.
“As soon as it appears, we in Paris and Berlin will be happy to consider any additional ways to attract analysts from our American as well as British friends,” said de Ponsen.
At the same time, he added that the solution of this “purely political situation depends on Russia.”
As Ukrainian News Agency reported, earlier Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba expressed doubt that the United States would be able to fully join the Normandy Format.
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