Road map but no miracles: Leaders agree to draw up 'road map' for peace in Ukraine as Normandy Four talks end in Berlin
Politics10:13 Oct. 20, 2016
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Leaders agree to draw up 'road map' for peace in Ukraine as Normandy Four talks end in Berlin

Russia reportedly supported the idea of armed OSCE mission to Donbas

The leaders of Ukraine, Germany, France, and Russia agreed to draft a 'road map' which would help to implement the 2015 Minsk peace agreement for eastern Ukraine.

However, the details of the plan yet still need to be worked out by the countries' foreign ministers by the end of November.

After more than 5 hours of talks in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the four "didn't achieve miracles" but maintained the talks were necessary "in order not to lose momentum."

Progress had been made on a road map for peace in Ukraine but that hard work remained ahead, Merkel added:

"This work must be driven forward by the foreign ministers and advisers and it will certainly continue to be very arduous. We discussed all the issues and we showed the clear will to complete this roadmap but as things stand there is still a lot of work to do," German Chancellor told reporters.

Meanwhile, outside Merkel's chancellery, hundreds of demonstrators staged competing rallies, including a group of about 30 people waving Russian and Soviet flags chanting "Thank you Putin." Nearby, larger groups of Ukrainian and Syrian protesters demonstrated against the Russian president.

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People gather to protest Russian airstrikes in Syria and Russian occupation of Ukrainian lands as French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko meet in Berlin, Germany on October 19, 2016

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the road map "should have the sequence of the implementation of the Minsk agreements and guarantee their implementation."

He also said the sides agreed to withdrawals of Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists in four new areas at the frontline of the fighting in the Donbass region.

The leaders also agreed that the role of the Organization for Security and Co‑operation in Europe (OSCE) in eastern Ukraine could be expanded to include armed monitors.

Details on the armed mission still need to be worked out, but the primary responsibility of the OSCE police would be to ensure security for local elections in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine's president reiterated that elections in Donbas would not occur until security conditions allow to hold the vote, and all foreign forces are withdrawn.

Poroshenko said that Germany, the current chair of the OSCE, would present the mission proposal to the organization. Both Putin and Poroshenko agreed that the OSCE monitoring activities should not be impeded.

The last four-way meeting in the so-called Normandy Format took place a year ago in Paris. However, high-level diplomacy failed to bring peace to eastern Ukraine and end the conflict which has claimed nearly 10,000 lives since it erupted in 2014.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP

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