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Little hope of a new Minsk agreement. The question of heavy weapons at the heart of the discussion

Laurent Fabius leaving the Council (credit: B2 / EBS)
Laurent Fabius leaving the Council (credit: B2 / EBS)

(BRUSSELS2) Laurent Fabius, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, was moderately optimistic, just now leaving the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union in Brussels. " Things start – 'start', because you have to be very careful – to move”.

Several fundamental questions to be resolved

After the meeting in Moscow between the four Presidents on Friday (February 6), in "Normandy" format and a telephone conversation on Sunday (February 8), " there is still a long way to go “according to Laurent Fabius” because there is a whole series of questions that are asked ". It is in particular the withdrawal of heavy weapons which is a " of the main questions ", especially " at how many kilometers should they be removed? or from which line should be taken into account. The line, provided for by the Minsk protocol, is no longer entirely relevant. " Since then, the reality on the ground has shifted, and to the detriment of the Ukrainian forces ". Other questions also need to be answered: How to ensure respect for the border? What will become of the provinces of Donbass and Lugansk at the legal level?... "

Negotiations continue

« All of this is being discussed " A " meeting of our general secretaries of ministries and our political directors is taking place this afternoon ". Tomorrow in Minsk, a meeting at the level of the political advisers of the 4 countries. From this, " it will be decided, we hope, the Minsk meeting “, in “Normandy” format, at presidential level, Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko, Russian President V. Putin, German Chancellor A. Merkel and French President F. Hollande.


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).