Events in Belarus will not affect Normandy format – Merkel.

The Normandy format does not depend on the events in Belarus, German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel has said.

She said this during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron on May 31, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“The Normandy format does not depend on what is happening in Belarus,” Merkel said, answering the question whether a new meeting in this format could take place, given the tension around Moscow-backed Belarus.

The chancellor announced her strong condemnation of "what Lukashenko is doing with the opposition and civil society." According to her, the EU is responding to violations by Minsk and will continue to do so, including through the introduction of targeted sanctions.

"It is also important to continue to work in the Normandy format, although there is very, very little progress there. That is, Germany and France are helping Ukraine with this format. And this is crucial," she said.

Merkel also noted that the issue of the Normandy format was discussed during negotiations with the French president. “We, of course, discussed Belarus, relations with Russia, and our further work in the Normandy format,” she said.

As Ukrinform reported, on May 31, the 22nd meeting of the Franco-German Ministerial Council headed by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel was held in a virtual format. The leaders discussed the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and foreign policy issues.

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