MOSCOW, April 30. /TASS/. Foreign Ministers of the Normandy Four (Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany) confirmed implementation of only one decision out of nine adopted during the Paris summit, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists Thursday, following a Normandy Four video conference.”We stated that, out of nine points of the Paris summit, only one was implemented, and even that one – only partially,” the foreign minister said, adding that he means the exchange of people in custody.The Paris Normandy Four summit took place on December 9, 2019. The next meeting of leaders of the four states was supposed to take place in April 2020.The Russian, Ukrainian, French and German top diplomats have discussed another prisoner exchange in Donbass, Lavrov said.”Today, we spoke about preparations for another prisoner swap. The process of hammering out a sequence of steps is underway, because, as you know, the Minsk agreements provide for all for all exchanges. However, in practical terms it turned out that it is necessary to identify everyone first before exchanging all,” he noted.A total of 230 people were exchanged during two exchanges between Kiev and Donetsk and Lugansk, in December and April, the minister reminded.The Paris Normandy Four summit took place on December 9, 2019. The next meeting of leaders of the four states was supposed to take place in April 2020.Moscow has reiterated that ensuring the special status of Donbass as part of Ukraine is crucial for resolving the conflict.”We pointed out that one of the key provisions of the Minsk Agreements concerns ensuring the special status of Donbass as part of Ukraine. This is the goal and basis of efforts to resolve the conflict,” Lavrov said.According to the Russian top diplomat, progress on this track would create conditions for progress in other areas, including security, social, economic and humanitarian issues.”Unfortunately, there is nothing to boast about. The Kiev authorities are reluctant to build direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk, though the parties need to hold direct dialogue to agree on all legal aspects concerning permanent special status,” Lavrov emphasized.He added that there had been no progress in efforts to make specific decisions in relation to incorporating the Steinmeier Formula into Ukrainian legislation. “I would like to point out that the Steinmeier Formula establishes a link between plans to hold elections and the provision of special status to Donbass,” Lavrov noted. He said that Russia had once again called on other Normandy Four countries “to press the Contact Group to implement this decision, which was made at the Paris summit.”Donetsk and Lugansk are facing politicized accusations over the new entry rules they introduced in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Lavrov said.”We took note of the fact that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s reports contain strong criticism of the DPR and LPR [the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics – TASS]. We were asked to react to the situation and their move to change the rules for crossing the line of contact for the OSCE SMM members,” Lavrov said. “These rules are simple and differ little from those introduced by the Ukrainian authorities,” he added.”Moreover, the OSCE has suspended most of its activities on the ground but as far as Donbass is concerned, someone for some reason has been insisting that top SMM officials keep emphasizing the access issue,” the Russian top diplomat noted.”I believe that attempts to politicize the situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic are unacceptable,” he said.
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