The FDFA is pleased to note that the "Normandy Format" negotiations in Minsk between the Presidents of Ukraine, Russia and France and the German Federal Chancellor have produced results. The agreement on a ceasefire, that will come into force on Sunday, and the strengthening of the September 2014 Minsk agreement are important signs that the spiral of military escalation can be broken and that there is a chance for a political solution. "It is now crucial that the agreement be implemented – this is essential in order to stabilise the situation in eastern Ukraine," says Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, the head of the FDFA. The FDFA calls on all sides to implement the agreed measures within the set deadlines.
The package of measures accepted today has been signed by all the signatories to the September 2014 Minsk agreement. As special representative of the Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in the Trilateral Contact Group, Swiss ambassador Heidi Tagliavini put her signature to the document, to which the heads of state and government of the "Normandy Format" committed their full support in a joint declaration.
The agreements provide for the OSCE to play a central role in the implementation of these measures. Switzerland calls on all participating States to make every possible effort to ensure that the OSCE structures concerned, in particular the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, receive the necessary political and financial support and the resources to fulfil this task.
Despite the new agreement the risk of further violence has not been eliminated. For this reason the FDFA calls on the sides involved to refrain from anything that could endanger today's agreements and instead to contribute constructively to the implementation of the agreed measures. Furthermore, the FDFA considers this to be the only way to achieve a political and therefore lasting solution to the Ukraine conflict – one to which Switzerland has long been committed, in particular during its 2014 OSCE Chairmanship.