No one grapples with task of stopping war in Donbass, Lukashenko says

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MINSK, October 31. /TASS/. The talks in current formats have failed to halt fighting in southeastern Ukraine, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Wednesday in his address to the Munich Security Conference Core Group meeting.

“Currently, we have to state that none has been able to stop confrontation in southeastern Ukraine: nor the Normandy Four, nor the Contact Group, nor the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, nor the Volker-Surkov talks,” he said.

According to the Belarussian president, nowadays resolution to the Ukraine conflict “is a key issue for European security and provided that it is not solved, peace on the continent will be in danger.”

“No-one can negotiate a lasting ceasefire and pullout of troops in Donbass. Month after month, the negotiators have been shuffling the same no-go options, whereas people are still killed every day,” Lukashenko said. “More than three and a half years have gone by since the Minsk accords were adopted and approved by the Normandy Four group. However, none of their provisions has been implemented in full yet,” he added.

Nonetheless, it does not mean “the agreements are bad.”

“The fact that they have no alternative as the only solution to the Ukraine crisis has been recognized by Russia, Europe and the United States,” the Belarussian president said noting that the tensions were being whipped up.

“Supplies of anti-tank, air defense and other lethal weapons to the region are just paving the way for a radical scenario,” the president said pointing out that a solution to the Donbass conflict might have been found long before.

Normandy Four format

The first meeting in the so-called Normandy Four format was held in France, on June 6, 2014, during celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the landing of allied troops in Normandy, when the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany for the first time held talks to find a solution to the conflict in southeast Ukraine.

In February 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko held 17-hour-long talks in Minsk, approving the Package of Measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements – the basis for peace in Donbass.

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