Normandy Four Group agreed to form working group to implement ceasefire deal on Ukraine conflict
They agreed to support international monitors and establish four working groups to address the most pressing issues faced by people in the embattled region, where Russian-backed separatists are fighting Ukrainian government forces.
Normandy Four group comprising of foreign ministers of four nations viz., Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France on 13 April 2015 agreed to form four working groups to observe the implementation of the ceasefire deal on Ukraine conflict that was signed in Minsk, Belarus on 12 February 2015.
The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed to this during their review meeting in Berlin, Germany.
Main highlights of the meeting
• They called for the pull back of smaller caliber weapons (caliber less than 100 mm) from the front lines in eastern Ukraine.
• They agreed to support international monitors and establish four working groups to focus on specific areas of settlement. These specific areas include security questions, military questions, questions regarding the economic reconstruction of Donbass in eastern Ukraine, humanitarian questions, and questions on political reform.
• They called on all sides to stop fighting and demonstrate their commitment to fully implementing the ceasefire and conclude the withdrawal of heavy weapons.
• They also called for the withdrawal of mortars and heavy weapons below 100mm as well as all types of tanks.
Minsk Agreement on Ukrainian Crisis
The ceasefire deal on the Ukraine conflict was brokered on 12 February 2015 in Minsk, Belarus. The deal was brokered with the help of Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) during the meeting of foreign ministers of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine. The ceasefire became effective from 15 February 2015.
The main highlights of the Minsk agreement
• Heavy weapons to be withdrawn in a two-week period starting from 17 February 2015
• Withdrawal of all foreign militias from Ukrainian territory and the disarmament of all illegal groups
• Lifting of restrictions in rebel areas of Ukraine
• Amnesty for prisoners involved in fighting
• Decentralisation for rebel regions by the end of 2015
• Ukrainian control of the border with Russia by the end of 2015
• The participants also agreed to attend regular meetings to ensure the fulfillment of the agreements