|Article Title||Did 'Normandy Four' Meeting Make Inroads?|
|Source||Current Digest of the Russian Press, The , No.43, Vol.68, October 24, 2016, page(s):7-9|
|Place of Publication||Minneapolis, USA|
Did 'Normandy Four' Meeting Make Inroads?
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT DEFENDS ‘NORMANDY FOUR’ FORMAT, MINSK AGREEMENTS AS THE ONLY WAY TO RESOLVE DONETSK BASIN CRISIS WITHOUT HIGH TOLL OF MILITARY INTERVENTION; EXPERT: PARTIES STILL DON’T SEE EYE TO EYE ON BERLIN MEETING’S RESULTS
POROSHENKO PROMISES CLARITY ON DONETSK BASIN. (By Tatyana Ivzhenko. Nezavisimaya gazeta, Oct. 25, 2016, p. 1. Condensed text:) [Ukrainian President] Pyotr Poroshenko explained to the Ukrainian people how he sees the results of a meeting among the "Normandy Four" [France, Germany, Ukraine, Russia] leaders [see Current Digest, Vol.68, No.42, pp.3-6]. Speaking to reporters from three national television channels, the head of state discussed when the Supreme Rada will adopt a law on local elections in the Donetsk Basin, when those elections will be held, when Ukraine will regain control over the border with Russia and why that is so important.
Pyotr Poroshenko stressed that Ukraine will not unilaterally withdraw from the Minsk agreements [for a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine; see Current Digest, Vol.66, No.37, pp.3-6 and Vol.67, No.7, pp.3-7 - Trans.], despite the fact that criticism of [said] agreements in the country is growing. The president explained that exiting the agreements would result in the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions by the West, as well as the collapse of the international coalition created to support Ukraine.
"Minsk is the only path to peace. Anyone who attacks the Minsk [agreements] must be held responsible.*** There are only two other possibilities: to resolve the conflict by force or to openly attack Russia. I would like people to compare the military budgets (of Ukraine and Russia - NG), and the possibility of being responsible for future loss of life," he said. At the same time, Poroshenko rejected the idea of giving up the separatist regions. According to him, the logic of "territory in exchange for peace" is flawed, because even if Ukraine gives up territory, it still wouldn’t get peace.
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