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Heiko Maaas: the opening of the contact line in East Ukraine will be discussed

A meeting of the Normandy Four (Ukraine, Germany, France, Russia) foreign ministers will take place on Thursday via a video conference.

Ahead of the video call the German Foreign minister Heiko Maas explained that the aim of the such video call is to discuss the opening of the contact line as well as the issue of crossing points. Such advances would make life easier for older people living in eastern Ukraine. He said: ” The COVID‑19 pandemic has hit people in eastern Ukraine hard. The older sections of the population in particular are suffering as a result of the current closure of the contact line. That is why we are now working to quickly achieve humanitarian progress in this crisis. ”

According to Heiko Maas, without the objective assessment of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission it will be impossieble to implement the Minsk Agreement, therefore the OSCE SMM shouldd be able to carry out its work throughout Ukraine – without any restrictions or hindrances.

Heiko Maas noted that there is positive result of the previous meeting — detainee swaps. He noted: ” We want to fully implement the decisions we made in the Normandy format in Paris last December. Initial progress has been achieved, for example with respect to the exchange of prisoners. If we can build on that, then we can also make advances in other points. To that end, we want to issue a clear political mandate today so that implementation can move forward in the Trilateral Contact Group. “

Photo: @HeikoMaas