Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin will come to the capital of France today, on December 9, to hold talks for the first time in three years.
Prior to the Normandy Four meeting, bilateral meetings are planned: Angela Merkel will meet separately with Vladimir Putin (16:00 Kyiv time) and Volodymyr Zelensky (16:30 Kyiv time).
The tete-a-tete meeting of Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky is still up in the air.
According to Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the Russian President plans to hold bilateral meetings with all members of the Normandy Four.
"We plan to carry out such important bilateral meetings with President Macron, and with the German Chancellor Merkel, and with the President of Ukraine Zelensky," Peskov said.
According to sources in Russian media, the meeting may take place after the negotiations of the Normandy Four.
Earlier, Ukrainian presidential aide Andriy Yermak said that at the Normandy meeting in Paris on December 9 Volodymyr Zelensky would put forward his conditions for negotiations with certain areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
On the eve of the meeting, Zelenszky himself said that it is planned to discuss the return of prisoners of war, the withdrawal of all militants and the holding of local elections.
00:41 HERE IT COMES!
In short - Immediate measures in Donbas and measures to implement the political provisions of the Minsk agreements
00:26 Andriy Kolesnikov from the Commersant news outlet reports that the dinner is over and the parties to the talks are approving and adding amendments to the final document.
Are you still there? 112.international is waiting...
...and a new day comes here in Ukraine...
23:55 Sources report of the agreement reached in the issue of prisoners swap. the deadline is - before December 31.
23:45 Arsen Avakov Ukraine's Minister of Internal Affairs, a member of Ukrainian delegation at the negotiations in the Normandy Format in Paris, makes a positive assessment of the progress.
"It's working climate, everything is fine. President Zelensky is doing good, holds his position very firmly and correctly. There is no betray," the minister commented.
22:56 Putin and Zelensky went hostile towards each other and haven't agreed upon returning Ukraine control over the border. Ukrainska Pravda reports citing their source in Ukrainian delegation.
Reportedly Putin insisted on elections first and then passing control over the border. Zelensky disagreed.
22:50. Nor the gas transit was agreed.
22:51 Media report no disengagement was agreed. Everyone is waiting for the final briefing.
22:24 Interfax-Ukraine agency reports that Putin had commented on the meeting with Zelensky, saying "it went well, in a businesslike manner."
22:06 President’s Office does not confirm the handshake of Zelensky and Putin.
22:00 Bilateral meeting between Zelensky and Putin is over. Oleksiy Honcharenko, Zelensky's aide, reported this.
21:53 While Zelensky and Putin are having a bilateral meeting, Macron and Merkel, along with delegations, are waiting in the dining room.
21:43 Bilateral meeting is in the progress... still... Honcharenko, Zelensky's aide reports in his Telegram account.
21:35 Zelensky's aide posts photos of the hall of the final briefing. The journalists are at place, waiting for the Presidents to approach the press.
21:08 AN IMPORTANT UPDATE. The office of the President of Ukraine reports that negotiations in the Normandy Format were interrupted for the bilateral meeting between Zelensky and Putin. After the end of the bilateral meeting, the Normandy Four shall resume.
21:02 RBC reports that the dinner of the four state leaders will be held in 15 minutes - at 9:15 p.m.
20:29 According to Interfax-Ukraine's sources, aides of the four leaders' recessed to make some changes to the summit’s final communique.
19:56 Honcharenko reports that a bilateral meeting of Putin and Zelensky hasn't started yet and the summit may last for another couple of hours.
19:28 The Four are negotiating for more than an hour.
19:25 Food for journalists
19:04 Press Secretary of the Russian President says that Zelensky and Putin shook their hands on first acquaintance.
19:00 Honcharenko also added that dinner for the four is scheduled for 8:00 p.m., and only after that - a press conference at 9 p.m. Kyiv time.
18:53 Oleksiy Honcharenko MP reports that meeting of Zelensky and Putin shall begin in 10 minutes. However, no official confirmation came.
18:51 Normandy Four are meeting without journalists.
18:42 As President’s Office reports the meeting of Zelensky and Putin will take place before the final conference.
18:21 Normandy format meeting starts.
18:06 President’s Office reported about the end of bilateral meeting of Zelensky with Macron and Merkel.
17:15 The President’s Office reports that the meeting of Zelensky and Macron is over. The meetings with Merkel and Putin are scheduled, as well as negotiations of all Normandy Four.
17:09 Canada expressed support to Ukraine before the meeting.
As leaders of ????????, ????????, ???????? and ????????meet in Paris for the #NormandySummit, Canada reaffirms its unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will always stand with the people of Ukraine in their quest for peace, stability and prosperity.— François-Philippe Champagne (FPC) ???????? (@FP_Champagne) December 9, 2019
16:44 How the leaders of four countries arrived at the Élysée Palace.
16:41 Meanwhile Ukraine revealed members of the delegation: Energy Minister Oleksiy Orzhel, Executive Director of Naftogaz-Ukraine Yuriy Vitrenko, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov arrived in Paris for Normandy Summit.
16:36 Video of Zelensky getting ready for the Normandy talks at Champs Élysée hit the net.
16:25 Putin arrives at Élysée Palace, which means all Four have already gathered.
16:15 Merkel – Putin meeting should have already kicked off, however Russian President hasn’t arrived yet.
16:07 In the meantime, Zelensky and Macron started their meeting, as Liga.net reports.
15:36 Russian President’s aide Vladislav Surkov also participates in the Russian delegation. To remind, this was Surkov who sent the congratulations on the victory at the illegal "elections" in occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk regions to Denis Pushylin and Leonid Pasechnyk.
15:21 Leaders of four countries will discuss the Steinmeier formula at the Normandy summit in Paris. This was announced by German Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Adebar.
15:13. Another important detail on the eve of the negotiations. Interfax-Ukraine citing their sources reported that Naftogaz will not surrender their claims to Gazprom in Stockholm arbitration, because neither of them has developed any alternatives.
14:50 And here is another rally. This time Femen.
14:34 Huge traffic jams are reported in Paris. But not because of Normandy Summit. But due to the the strike of French RailRoad, bus operator and subway.
Gare du Nord. Panique pour prendre le RER B Robinson (Châtelet, Saint-Michel, Luxembourg) pic.twitter.com/RUuwXvuDkr— Romain Le Vern (@RomainLeVern) December 9, 2019
14:14 TIME TO REMIND WHAT WE HAVE AT THE MOMENT:
- A personal meeting between Putin and Zelensky was confirmed. According to preliminary information, the conversation will take place after the meeting of the Normandy Four.
- Ukraine and Russia will discuss gas issues. Both the Ukrainian and Russian delegations will have Energy Ministers and the management of Naftogaz and Gazprom.
- The document following the meeting will be agreed on. But it is still unknown what kind of document it will be.
- Schedule of meetings is approximate. No one can tell for sure when it will be over and how long it will last.
14:05. According to official representative of German Foreign Ministry Maria Adebar, the so-called Steinmeier formula will be a part of talks in Paris.
13:34 The PavlovskyNews Telegram channel adds some information. In particular, it is reported that it was Veterans Movement of Ukraine and that it took place right in the press center on the street near the Élysée Palace.
13:32 And here we see the first rally in Paris.
"The first rally. Several ATO veterans tore flags of Russia and so-called Donetsk People's Republic. The police stopped everything after a couple of minutes. The poster says: "Don't capitulate to Putin, you're not a sucker," journalist Vitaly Tysiachny reported on his Facebook page.
13:11 More details. According to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the document upon the results of Normandy Summit will be agreed on at the table by the leaders of the four countries.
13:07 SEPARATE MEETING OF ZELENSKY AND PUTIN WAS CONFIRMED. The Office of President of Ukraine announced that it would take place after the Normandy Four talks.
12:28 In the meantime, we already have photos from Paris. It has been raining since the morning. According to the Telegram channel PavlovskyNews, some journalists did not falter and installed a tent.
Normandy talks in Paris
Normandy talks in Paris
Normandy talks in Paris, Dec. 9, 2019. Journalists at Élysée Palace
12:26 Prior to the talks President Zelensky got a ton of advice, including his predecessor Petro Poroshenko and openly responded to all of them. "...It is the former president who does not agree with what he signed,” Zelensky said.
12:17 The schedule of Normandy Summit published here.
12:00 Let's keep an eye together. Today's Normandy Four meeting is a long-awaited for every Ukrainian. Here's everything you should know about the Normandy Format and the history of the talks.
11:37 While Zelensky was headed to the talks, ‘Watch on Bankova’ rally gathered at the President’s Office. The activists promised not to assault the President’s Office, calling themselves “a shoulder for Zelensky.”
“Today, we are a shoulder for Zelensky, he can lean on. So that when he is forced in Paris to play in Russia’s hand, he would be able to say: “I cannot return with this,” one of the organizers said.
11:40 Here are some photos of the rally. Several thousand people gathered an hour after the official start of the rally.