In Digest, Ukraine

TASS, February 7, 2015

KIEV–The idea of Ukraine’s federalization was absent from the agenda of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s talks with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, February 5, the Ukrainian presidential website said.

Hollande, Poroshenko and Merkel

Hollande, Poroshenko and Merkel

“There was no discussion of federalization or of what has been mentioned in the foreign press. The purpose was to coordinate positions on the eve of Chancellor Merkel’s and Francois Hollande’s visit to Moscow,” the deputy chief of the presidential staff, Valery Chaly, told the television channel Inter in an interview, currently available on the presidential website.

Chaly added that Merkel and Hollande had brought no new documents for discussion. He remarked that “the point at issue is implementation of the already achieved agreements.”

Chaly said Poroshenko, Merkel and Hollande had agreed a common stance on a future settlement on the basis of the Minsk Accords, specific steps for achieving a result, a ceasefire, pullout of heavy armaments and a political solution.

“Yesterday’s meeting showed that we can talk to our partners about a common stance in very clear terms. In fact, this is the ‘position of the three’ that they took to Moscow to the fourth party to the Normandy format,” Chaly said.

He added that Kiev experienced no pressures from the Europeans.

“In reality no outsider is in the position to determine Ukraine’s future. There was no pressure on us from the Europeans. Some, not us, had voiced such fears. That was discussed by experts,” Chaly said. He concluded that he remained an advocate of a political, peace settlement in Donbass, because “diplomatic efforts are the way that can bring about solutions.”.

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