ASTANA – Kazakhstan welcomed the results of the marathon 16-hour talks between the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and France and the chancellor of Germany in Minsk on Feb. 11 and 12 and the signing of a package of measures on the implementation of the Minsk agreements by the contact group.
In a statement issued late on Feb. 12, Astana time, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the results of the negotiations in the Normandy Four format and noted its appreciation of the efforts of all parties to ensure the peace process. It also praised the organisation by the Belarusian side of the conditions needed for fruitful negotiations.
“Kazakhstan calls upon the parties to fully implement the agreements reached, which are aimed at an early ceasefire in the southeast of Ukraine, [and a] sustainable and comprehensive solution to the crisis in the country,” the statement said.
“We hope that the achieved level of confidence will help create the prerequisites and conditions for establishing trustful dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union,” the Foreign Ministry added.
Astana has long been pushing for progress in the settlement of the bloody conflict in the southeastern part of Ukraine, which has already left 5,500 people dead and around 1 million displaced. In December 2014 and January 2015, President Nursultan Nazarbayev engaged in active multilateral diplomacy with leaders in Paris, Berlin, Kiev and Moscow, offering, among other things, the Kazakh capital as a possible venue for multilateral talks.
On Feb. 12, Nazarbayev and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko spoke on the phone. Nazarbayev praised the results of the talks and the high quality of organisation of the event there, which attracted not only official delegations from the four negotiating countries but also more than 500 journalists from the international media.
They also agreed that there will be a meeting of the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia in Kazakhstan in the near future.