Leading world media followed the Normandy Four meeting, which took place on December 9 in Paris. As a result of the meeting, some media outlets note a thaw in relations between Kyiv and Moscow, others pay attention to the agreements reached, others speak of the progress in the negotiations.
The outlet draws attention to the fact that Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky agreed on a ceasefire and the exchange of all established prisoners.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to a renewed cease-fire and to exchange all known prisoners when they met for the first time in Paris on Monday, making modest gains in peace talks designed to end a deadly war in eastern Ukraine. It was the first effort in three years to wind back a bitter war that has cost 13,000 lives and resulted in the loss of Ukrainian territory to separatists backed by Moscow,” it wrote.
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal wrote that the presidents of Ukraine and Russia “met face-to-face for the first time, seeking to end the war in their border region. It appeared to be a draw, rather than the Putin domination some had feared.”
“It had the makings of a singularly unequal contest: a former K.G.B. officer and seasoned master of no-holds-barred global intrigue versus a former comedian bereft of any experience in power politics and battered by his country’s bruising encounters with President Trump. But the first face-to-face meeting on Monday between President Vladimir V. Putin, Russia’s ruler for nearly 20 years, and Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, turned out to be less a walkover for Mr. Putin than a draw, with modest progress made on calming five and half years of war in eastern Ukraine. Mr. Zelensky, who has been in office for just six months, said Russia and Ukraine had reached an agreement to exchange all prisoners by the end of the year and to fully implement a cease-fire first agreed to in 2015 but repeatedly broken,” reads the message.
The New York Times
The media outlet outlines that “Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy for the first time on Monday at a summit in Paris aimed at advancing efforts to restore peace to eastern Ukraine.”
“Diplomats however caution that the prospects for peace are bleak, with Zelenskiy, a comedian-turned-president, politically constrained at home and wary of conceding too much, and Putin showing little interest in bending to outside pressure,” Reuters reports.
This media wrote that “Host French President Emmanuel Macron, joined by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, hailed the progress after some eight hours of talks at the Elysee Palace on ending the conflict between pro-Moscow separatists and Ukrainian forces in the east of Ukraine. Four-way talks at the Elysee Palace were followed by the first-ever bilateral meeting between wily ex-KGB agent Putin -- in power for two decades -- and ex-comedian Zelensky who won the presidency this year.”
The French news agency draws attention to the fact that some measures to de-escalate the conflict in Donbas were agreed at the summit in Paris. It is noted that the summit participants did not achieve a significant breakthrough in ending the five-year war in eastern Ukraine.
The French newspaper notes that there is a thaw in relations between Kyiv and Moscow, but it is still far from the final peace.
“In addition to some symbolic measures, such as a new exchange of prisoners, the quadripartite summit - Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany - will not allow normalizing the situation in the east of Ukraine, because Vladimir Putin is probably not interested. Donbas is expensive for him, and he would like to lift Western sanctions. But this is also an important lever for him,” reads the message.
German publication emphasizes that the summit participants agreed on specific steps to resolve the conflict in Donbas.
“Among other things, the summit participants agreed on a complete ceasefire in eastern Ukraine by the end of the year and the deployment of troops in three areas along the demarcation line by the end of March. According to the summit’s declaration, the exchange of prisoners is also planned before the end of 2019. This involves the exchange of 250 prisoners from Kyiv for 100 from Luhansk and Donetsk. However, there was no concrete agreement, but only a letter of intent to exchange through a contact group in the region and the Red Cross,” the journalists said.
The CNBC channel, citing analyst Darag MacDowell, notes that France has made it clear that it wants to somehow normalize relations with Russia, but at the same time, now the situation when Russia has changed its borders with the help of military force has invaded a European country. It is noted that in this situation it is impossible to draw a line and say: "Everything is done, everything is forgotten."