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Amid the growing sense of crisis that war over Ukraine is imminent, last-minute diplomatic efforts are urgently underway.
US Secretary of State Tony Blincoln visited Ukraine on the 19th (local time) to discuss ways to provide military support to Ukraine, and then traveled to Germany on the 20th to discuss international cooperation.
On the 21st, he is scheduled to hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva, Switzerland.
The West, including the United States, repeatedly confirmed strong sanctions against Russia along with additional support for Ukraine, saying that the scenario of a Russian invasion of Ukraine is becoming a reality.
In response, Russia gathered troops in Belarus on the northern border of Ukraine and pressured Ukraine by announcing joint military exercises in the middle of next month.
In this dire situation, the Geneva negotiations between the US and Russia to be held on the 21st are expected to become a watershed in the direction of the Ukraine crisis.
During the tour, Secretary Blincoln said he would continue his relentless diplomatic efforts to prevent a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“We will continue our diplomatic efforts to stop the (Russian) offensive and advance dialogue and peace,” Blincoln said at a press conference after meeting with Ukrainian leaders. “He said.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleva said that he and Blincoln discussed the resumption of ‘Normandy-style talks’ to resolve the Donbas dispute in eastern Ukraine. are doing,” he said.
The Normandy-style summit refers to the four-party talks between Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France for the resolution of the Ukraine conflict. It is called this because the leaders of the four countries met on June 6, 2014 at a ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the French landing in Normandy and discussed the Ukraine issue.
The last Normandy-style summit was held in December 2019.
Armed clashes between government forces and pro-Russian separatist rebels in the Donbas region on the eastern border of Ukraine have been going on since 2014.
According to UN statistics, more than 13,000 people have been killed in the fighting between the two sides so far.
The leaders of the four countries participating in the Normandy-style summit signed the ‘Minsk Agreement’ in 2015, which included a plan to establish peace in the Donbas region, but the fighting between the government and rebels has not stopped completely since then.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also proposed holding the Normandy-style four-party talks.
“The time has come for us to specifically agree on an end to the conflict,” Zelensky said.
In the Normandy-style talks, the European countries lead the dispute resolution, and France and Germany are also actively supporting it.
In a speech to the European Parliament on the 19th, French President Emmanuel Macron emphasized that the European Union (EU) needs to negotiate directly with Russia in the context of Ukraine’s crisis, and to this end, the Normandy-style four-party talks should be held again.
President Macron explained France’s strategy as the EU presidency, saying, “Europe must establish its own collective security system. In this process, frank dialogue with Russia is also needed.”
He added that France is working with Germany to revive Normandy-style talks.
Macron’s remarks came at a time when the EU was excluded from negotiations between the West and Russia to resolve the Ukraine crisis.
German Foreign Minister Anna Lena Baerbok also urged the holding of four-party talks to resolve the Ukraine crisis.
Minister Baerbok emphasized that the Normandy-style summit in which the two parties, Ukraine and Russia, plus Germany and France participate as mediators, was “the only solution to the situation.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also embarked on mediation to settle the dispute between Russia and Ukraine.
“Turkey is ready to play any role in easing tensions between Russia and Ukraine,” said Erdogan’s spokesman.
Earlier, the West and Russia, led by the United States, held their first series of meetings last week, but only confirmed the sharp difference in their positions and turned away empty-handed.
However, there are observations that the two sides have the conditions to discuss the progress made at the negotiation table on the 21st, as both sides have completed the search for the other side’s arguments and strategies through the first dialogue, so the outcome of the negotiations is noteworthy.
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