In Moscow and Berlin do not expect breakthrough from the meeting of “Norman Quartet”, which will take place on the evening of 19 October in the German capital. Chancellor Angela Merkel and the presidents of France, Russia and Ukraine, Francois Hollande, Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko are to discuss the implementation of the Minsk agreements in the Donbass.
“Breakthroughs are not expected,” – said a Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, a few hours before the meeting (quoted by TASS). In his words, “the goal (of today’s meeting in Berlin) to see where we are, and to say that it prevents to perform the Minsk agreement”.
German experts also believe that a major success of negotiations should not wait, says DW-World. However, there is hope for some results. “The four leaders do not come just to talk,” said the well-known German expert on Russia, publisher of the online magazine Russlandanalysen, Professor Hans-Henning Schroeder.
According to the expert across Russia from the German society for foreign policy (DGAP) in Berlin Sarah Pagung step forward can be made, for example, in monitoring on Russian-Ukrainian border monitoring by the OSCE of the demarcation line between the separatists and the Ukrainian military that will reduce the militant activity of the parties. “We can hope for little progress,” said DW.
Experts do not exclude that the part in the talks on the situation in Ukraine may be Putin’s attempt to reduce the pressure on the Kremlin in connection with the events in Aleppo, Syria. “Moscow does not doubt that the rebels in Syria will soon hand over Aleppo, so give them the opportunity to leave the city. Momentary truce will take the pressure in the issues of human rights violations. In these circumstances, to arrange a meeting with Merkel and Hollande – won point,” said Mr. Schroeder.
At the same time, according to the expert, “if Putin wanted the Berlin meeting, he needs something to bring”. Schroeder also drew attention to the abundance of foreign travel in the work schedule of the Russian President in recent weeks and has linked this activity with the desire of the Russian leader to score points in the international arena. “He is very active touring the world, was in Turkey at the World energy Congress in Yerevan CSTO summit, leaders of the BRICS countries in India, tried to organize a meeting in France,” recalled Schroeder.
Pagong in turn notes that negotiations on Ukraine – is an opportunity for Putin to demonstrate a willingness to dialogue, even on paper, so that “such a meeting – him on the hand.” The expert stressed that the situation in Syria is now much more difficult to negotiate, despite the fact that the international agenda is the Syrian conflict.
Meeting in Berlin as a test of Putin’s and Merkel
The German newspaper Die Welt writes that the meeting in Berlin will be a test of the “special relationship” established between Merkel and Putin. This will be the first visit by a Russian head of state to Germany after the annexation of Crimea to Russia in March 2014 and the beginning of the war in the East of Ukraine.
“It will be a meeting of old friends: since Angela Merkel for more than 10 years ago made its first working visit as Chancellor to Moscow, it is not so often met with any leader. Telephone conversations between the two politicians happen more often during the Crimean crisis, they sometimes talked on the phone almost once a week”, – journalists write Robin Alexander and Yulia Smirnova in the article, translated by InoPressa.
The authors of the material do not exclude that introduced videoconferencing and Syrian air force humanitarian pause in Aleppo could be a condition Merkel for talks in Berlin. “She won’t shake hands with Putin, while its videoconferencing dropping bunker Buster bombs on residential neighborhoods and barrel bombs on the civilian population,” – says the journalists.
The publication notes that the meeting in Germany, there are both intra-and foreign policy reasons. On the one hand, Merkel has pursued a consistent policy in France, organizing talks in Berlin after Putin refused to go to Paris to talk with Hollande on Syria. On the other hand, more and more German politicians refuse from the course of Putin’s critics, given Merkel. “In Germany, longing for a universal “world” stronger sense of justice or compassion for the victims of Aleppo. Confrontation with Russia is a significant part of the population considers evil,” the article says.
On the eve of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has invited his counterparts from France, Russia and Ukraine at a dinner on 19 October, also saidthat we should not expect “miracles” from the upcoming negotiations, “Norman Quartet.” “With certainty we can say that a miracle from tomorrow’s meeting should not be expected. But to say it is always necessary, even when significant differences of opinion”, – said the head of the German government.
In addition to the negotiations in the “Norman format” in Berlin, scheduled two more meetings. In the first, before the meeting of the “Quartet”, will be attended by Merkel, Hollande and Poroshenko. On the other, which is scheduled after the meeting of the “Quartet” negotiations Merkel, Hollande and Putin – we will talk about the situation in Syria.
According to the Chancellor, given the situation in Aleppo, one cannot rule out any options, including sanctions. “But first, of course, we need some way to alleviate the suffering of people,” – said Merkel.
Not waiting for a breakthrough from the talks, and the President of Ukraine, announced yesterday “Корреспондент.net”. “If I’m optimistic? I am very optimistic about the future of Ukraine, but I, unfortunately, not especially optimistic about tomorrow’s meeting. We have high expectations from this meeting,” – said Poroshenko at a press conference in Oslo on 18 October.