1st Deputy Rada Speaker suggests Normandy format could be expanded, but US Ambassador states US participation is not on the agenda

Ukraine`s representative in the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral contact group on Donbas settlement and First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Gerashchenko believes the extension of the existing Normandy format is possible, TV Channel 5 reports.

The Ukrainian official suggests that another country could join the negotiation table, according to 5.ua

”Some [country] joining the ”Normandy format” is possible. But there are two key points here: will such joining add pressure on the Russian Federation and will it begin to implement the commitments in the framework of at least some pool [of agreements]. So far, we have seen no such will?” she said.

As reported earlier, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L. Yovanovitch in November said that the issue of the U.S. joining the Normandy format was not on the agenda.

”I don`t think that there are any plans at this time for us to join the Normandy format but that doesn`t mean that the United States is inactive diplomatically,” the 9th U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine said in an interview with RFE/RL.

Ms Yovanovitch added that Washington was cooperating closely with Ukraine, holding consultations with France and Germany. The U.S. also holds meetings with Russians ”periodically”, said the U.S. envoy, ”to see if there is a way that we can constructively move the process forward, again, in support of the Normandy format”.

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