Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated the need to open a demarcation line in the Donbass. He said this in Berlin on Thursday, April 30, few hours before the video conference of foreign ministers of the Normandy Four countries, - Deutsche Welle writes.
"The elderly are particularly affected by the closure of the demarcation line. In this regard, we will discuss the opening of a contact line and the issue of resuming the checkpoints' operation. This would be a progress that would bring real relief to people in eastern Ukraine", - Maas said.
He also called on Russia and Ukraine to clearly express their commitment to the 2015 Minsk Agreements on the settlement of conflict in the Donbass. He spoke in favor of removing restrictions on the work of the OSCE observers in this region, since, according to him, without their objective assessment of the situation, it is impossible to ensure the implementation of the agreements reached by the pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian government.
"The mutual distrust of the parties is too strong. This is understandable to Russia, which should take advantage of its influence on the separatists", - Maas noted. Germany and France accuse the separatists of obstructing the work of the OSCE observers in the Donbass on the pretext of combating the coronavirus epidemic.
Today's videoconference is the first talks of the Normandy Four Foreign Ministers in the past two years. The last summit with the participation of the leaders of the FRG, France, Russia and Ukraine was held in Paris in December. Heiko Maas welcomed the progress made since then, including the exchange of prisoners in the Donbass. "If we go by what has been achieved, we will be able to advance in resolving other issues", - he is sure.