'Norman Four' meets in Independence Palace in Minsk (LIVE)
A meeting of ‘the Norman Four’ is being held in Minsk Independence Palace on February 11-12. It is dedicated to the situation in Donets Basin. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin are taking part in the negotiations.
11:10 The four leaders are negotiating in the tea room again. OSCE special representative Heidi Tagliavini has joined them.
11:00 Putin has joined Poroshenko, Merkel and Hollande. The four state leaders are negotiating again.
10:35 "Unfortunately, there is no good news. No news at all. But there is still hope,” RIA Novosti quotes Petro Poroshenko. Some of Russia’s suggestions are unacceptable, the Ukrainian President claimed, AFP reports.
10.15. The document that is about to be signed in Minsk provides a ceasefire agreement starting from February 14, the removal of heavy artillery and the creation of a safety zone. No other details have been reported.
08.40. The Foreign Ministers have left. Only the state leaders keep negotiating.
8.00. The document may be signed within an hour, Euroradio journalist Ales Piletski reports. The exact time has not been announced yet.
7.35. TV journalists have been invited to a hall where the leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia may sign an agreement at about 7.30 a.m. on February 12. The other journalists will watch a broadcast. There is excitement in the Independence Palace now. Probably, the state leaders have reached some agreement.
Lavrov: negotiations in Minsk are going better than super
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the talks in the "Normandy format" in Minsk are better than super, Interfax reports.
According to him, the conversation of four presidents is dynamic. At the same time Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said that the negotiations are very intense.
It became known why Poroshenko left the negotiations room.
Hromadske TV reported on Twitter that Poroshenko went to talk with the General Staff of Ukraine.
RIA Novosti source in the German delegation reported that the parties moved on to discuss the technical details of the new agreement, which may be signed after the meeting.
Diplomats joined the Normandy format negotiations
Talks between Ukraine, France, Russia and German Chancellor continued in an extended format. According to the Interfax, the leaders of states were joined by the Foreign Ministers of these countries. However, no information about the details of the negotiations were released.
Ukrainian Ambassador said that a certain "outcome document" will be signed at the end of the negotiations.
The Contact Group reconvened in another building in Minsk
In the evening of February 11, in Minsk, Tripartite Liaison Group (Ukraine - Russia - OSCE), which met on Wednesday reconvened in Dipservice Hall in Minsk. It discussed a draft protocol of the settlement of the situation in Donbass, BelTA reports. The meeting was attended by representatives of the self-proclaimed PRD and PRL.
Russian journalist was not kicked out of the Palace of Independence.
Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin who previously asked the president of Ukraine, "Mr. Poroshenko why your troops bombing peaceful cities?", is still At the Palace of Independence. It turned out that he was not kicked out of the building. Secret service told him to stay calm.
Before the talks, the presidents of Ukraine and Russia shook hands and exchanged a few words. This happened at when leaders of nations gathered in one room.
Summit protocol broken - negotiations started
Security officer of the Independence Palace told reporters that the protocol of the meeting had been broken. The country's leaders came to the photo shoot, and immediately went to the negotiations in the quartet, without Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
Lukashenka is dicussing something with the leaders of the "Normandy format" leaders
There was an unplanned event at the summit. After Putin's arrival Leaders had to go to a meeting room - Poroshenok, Putin, Hollande and Merkel. But Alyaksandr Lukashenka took them to a separate room where they discussed something for a long time.
Putin arrived at the Palace of Independence. Now all the leaders of the countries, "Normandy format" ready for a joint photo session.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka greeted Hollande. He presented Angela Merkel with a bouquet of flowers and discussed something with her half a minute without interpreters. Putin's arrival is expected in 15 minutes.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka is waiting for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande arriving at 19:10
Meeting of Poroshenko and Lukashenka began. Meanwhile, users of social networks note that there are traffic jams in Minsk due to road closures for the motorcades to pass.
Meeting Poroshenko and Lukashenka will begin at 18:40, after half an hour, Lukashenka, Hollande and Merkel will talk together to the press.
After 20 minutes, Poroshenko and Lukashenka will meet at the palace. He will be the first to arrive.
Schedule of the summit has become public. First, Alyaksandr Lukashenka will meet each of the country leaders and take them in a separate room. Then there is scheduled a short press-meeting before the talks. This will happen on the ground floor of the Palace of Independence. After that, the leaders of the participating countries will go into the hall for negotiations.
The guards of the Palace of Independence began warning journalists who come out to smoke that they will soon close the building - "special regime" starts. Probably, Lukashenka will soon come to the Palace.
Meanwhile, leaders of the Normandy four arrive in Minsk. At 18:00 hours leaders of France, Germany and Russia had landed in Minsk. Poroshenko is approaching the airport.
Poroshenko flying to Minsk
President of Ukraine Poroshenko heading to Minsk. Earlier it was reported that he was the first leader scheduled to arrive in the Belarusian capital. However, as it became known, Vladimir Putin may already be in Minsk.
Media outlets have received a document with proposals of the breakaway republics
Proposals of PRD and PRL at the talks in Minsk have been made available. Representatives of illegal units propose to have a cease-fire on February 12, announce the end of the anti-terrorist operations, to provide autonomy to "certain areas" of Donbass and hold election, UNIAN reports.
Candy, coffee and water served in the Palace of Independence
Journalists (and there are more than 500) in the Palace of Independence are served Kamunarka candies (no Roshen available), as well as coffee and water. So far, there have been no food served, Euroradio correspondent Ales Pilecki reports.
Russian journalists stand apart
Russian journalists, in anticipation of the summit, are standing away from the rest in the same room. Belarusians, Ukrainians, French and all others are occupying the room, which recently hosted the press conference of Lukashenka.
The talks in Minsk may last until to 2 am
According to the Euroradio correspondent, there appeared unofficial information that the summit in Minsk will last until 2 am. Journalists are getting mentally prepared that they will have to spend the night in the Palace of Independence.
In what order will leaders arrive at the summit
As reported by ONT tv channel, first will arrive in Minsk President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, after him - German Chancellor Angela Merkel, then - French President Francois Hollande. The last to arrive will be Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Francois Hollande, Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin on their way to Minsk
The plane of the French president is on his way to the capital of Belarus, BelTA reportss. It is expected to arrive about 17:00.Vladimir Putin's plane is also on its way to Minsk. As is the plane of Angela Merkel.
Putin still on his way to Minsk, but the plane is already here
Vladimir Putin's plane landed at Minsk National Airport. His flight is confirmed by the site flightradar24.com. Probably this flight was used by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov - his visit to Minsk had also been announced.
Access to opposition websites in the Independence Palace not restricted
Euroradio journalist Ales Pilecki, who was one of the first to cross the two security cordons, got connected to wi-fi at the Palace of Independence. Sites Charter97.org and Belaruspartisan.org could be freely accessed.
Why French journalists "are going mad"
Incidentally, to go online in the Palace of Independence one needs to show their passport. French journalists "are going mad" trying to understand it.
Two security cordons
Already at 14.30 journalists were let inside the Palace of Independence, Euroradio correspondent Ales Pilecki reports from the scene. Checks at the entrance were very thorough. To get to the building, you need to go through two security cordons.
Journalists enter the hall, where recently Alyaksandr Lukashenka held a press conference. Interestingly, the Belarusian flag is hanging on the side, with German flag beign in the middle.
Summit participants will arrive in Minsk after 17:00hrs.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande received official authorization for the EU negotiations in resolving the situation in Donbas in the Normandy format.
More than 500 journalists will be engaged in reporting on the meeting in the Belarusian capital, BELTA reports.