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PRESS RELEASE


Normandy Four Summit To Take Place in Berlin

Oct. 18, 2016 (EIRNS)—The leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine, and Russia will meet in Berlin tomorrow to discuss the settlement of the Ukraine crisis. The Ukrainian presidential office issued a statement confirming the meeting, following a three-way phone call between French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov told reporters this morning, "Tomorrow the President will go to Berlin where he will hold talks with Merkel, Hollande, and Poroshenko." Peskov clarified that Putin is not going to Berlin in response to the escalating fighting in the Donbass.

Putin is going, in fact, even though the expectations for the meeting are low, as Peskov indicated.

"Take a look at the Ukrainian presidential website and you will read there that Poroshenko, Merkel and Hollande have agreed to hold a Normandy format meeting on Oct. 19 for the purpose of forcing Russia into compliance with the Minsk Accords,"

Peskov said.

"That this wording has been used on the Ukrainian presidential website merely indicates how complicated the situation is and to what degree Kiev is not ready to honor with its own obligations under the Minsk Accords."

Putin, he stressed, is, nonetheless, ready to do everything possible to push implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Poroshenko’s statement stressed the security part of the Minsk agreement, but Poroshenko also blames Russia for the political failure in the Donbass as well.

"I am quite optimistic about Ukraine’s future, but not very optimistic about tomorrow’s meeting," he said yesterday, during a joint press conference with the Norwegian prime minister. He claimed that "there are no internal problems" (!) in Ukraine. "The only thing we need is free local elections in Donbass, which will conform to OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] standards," he said. He claimed that it is impossible to hold these elections "as long as there are foreign troops there," likely referring to the phantom Russian army of 30,000 troops in the Donbass that the regime in Kiev has repeatedly claimed, even though nobody, including the OSCE monitoring mission, has ever seen them.