The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry replied to Lavrov about “attempts to drag Russia into military action”

“Our state constantly proposes steps to move from the place of a peaceful settlement. And the Russian Federation ignores them under various pretexts,” he said.

According to Nikolenko, Ukraine calls on Russia to stop thinking in terms of war and expects it to fulfill the agreements of the Normandy format leaders’ summit reached in Paris in 2019.

The matter concerns the withdrawal of forces and assets from the demarcation line, observance of the ceasefire regime, unblocking of the checkpoint operation, as well as ensuring the safe and reliable access of the OSCE SMM throughout Ukraine.

The speaker of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry noted that our country is ready for further meetings in the Normandy format.

“We hope that Russia will also agree to such a meeting. At the same time, the Ukrainian side reserves the right to respond to offensive actions, shelling and armed provocations,” added Oleg Nikolenko.

Context:

After annexation of Crimea in 2014 Russia launched an armed aggression in the east of Ukraine. The fighting is between the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the one hand and the Russian army and Russian-backed militants who control parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on the other. Officially, the Russian Federation does not recognize its invasion of Ukraine, despite the facts and evidence presented by Ukraine.

Negotiations on the settlement of the conflict are being conducted within the framework of the trilateral contact group (TCG, Ukraine – OSCE – Russia) and the Normandy Four (Ukraine – GermanyFranceRussia).

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky held a videoconference on October 11, 2021 with Merkel and Macron. The interlocutors talked about steps for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbass, and also discussed preparations for the next Normandy Four summit.

On the same day, Merkel and Macron spent telephone conversation with Putin… “The leaders instructed their political advisers and foreign ministries to intensify contacts and work along the lines of the Normandy Four,” the Kremlin said.

As a result of these negotiations, the Elysee Palace announced that the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Normandy Four possible in the coming weeks.

The Kremlin confirmed that preparations for the ministerial meeting are underway, but date of consultation is not yet known.

Press Secretary of the President of Ukraine Sergei Nikiforov said that the Russian side is demonstrating unwillingness to hold a meeting in Normandy format.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov November 1, 2021 accused Ukraine of trying “to drag Russia into some kind of forceful actions.”

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