Normandy Four in Paris
by Stephen Lendman
On Tuesday, Sergey Lavrov met with his French, German and Ukrainian counterparts in Paris.
It's part of Moscow's all-out effort for ceasefire and peace in Donbass.
Lavrov and Putin have done more to resolve things diplomatically than any other world officials.
No two men are more worthy of Nobel Peace Prize recognition no matter how things turn out.
No two are less likely to receive the honor they deserve from a Committee notoriously favoring war criminals.
Their struggle for regional peace and stability continues. Lavrov used diplomatic language calling Tuesday's talks "a useful meeting."
He hopes Kiev's military follows rebel forces' lead in withdrawing heavy weapons according to agreed on Minsk terms.
"I hope that after the heavy weapons’ withdrawal is completed, there will be no more excuses for not settling political issues," he said.
"The situation has significantly improved. That was acknowledged by my partners."
"However, sporadic violations are being registered by the OSCE observers."
Donetsk rebel spokesman Eduard Basurin said "(t)oday (February 24) at 9AM (local time), our units continued the pullback of heavy weaponry from the separation line."
RT International broadcast live coverage of an orderly rebel withdrawal.
Lugansk rebel spokesman Vitaly Kiselev issued a similar statement.
OSCE spokesman Michael Bociurkiw withheld comment pending reports he expects by end of day Tuesday.
So far, Kiev showed contempt for Minsk terms. It refuses to withdraw its heavy weapons. Defense spokesman Anatoly Stelmakh lied saying "(o)ur positions are being shelled non-stop."
False! RT reported relative calm. So did OSCE monitors. Stelmakh said no pullback until "at least a daylong ceasefire."
Kiev military spokesman Andrey Lysenko said two days. Expect more excuses delaying things. Expect repeated Kiev violations irresponsibly blamed on rebels.
They categorically deny ceasefire noncompliance accusations. They only respond when fired on, they explain. It's their legitimate right under international law.
According to Ukrainian interior minister Anton Gerashchenko, UAE armed forces chief Mohammed bin Zeyed bin Sultan Al Nahyan agreed to supply Kiev with heavy weapons.
Gerashchenko absurdly claimed "the Arabs aren't afraid of Putin's threats of a third world war starting in case of arms and ammunition supplies to Ukraine."
At the same time, he nonsensically said the UAE blames Russia for low oil prices.
In Paris, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said:
"We have considered possibilities for the improvement of the (Donbas) situation in order to control the process of the heavy weaponry pullout and in this connection we unanimously spoke for the extension of the mandate of the OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine due to expire in late March."
"We have agreed to initiate as soon as possible joint steps toward the extension of the current OSCE mission’s mandate for one more year."
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said ministers agreed on providing more equipment and financing for OSCE monitoring.
Meanwhile in Kiev, regime controlled Unian (dis)information agency
quoted state services for emergency situations spokeswoman Natalia Bystr's Big Lies.
She turned truth on its head claiming "Russian troops and Russian-backed militants continue to destroy infrastructure and utilities systems of the population in cities and towns of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions."
"A total of 5,500 residential buildings of all types of ownership have been destroyed in the Donetsk region."
Rebels destroyed or damaged more than 1,000 energy facilities, "overhead power lines and substations," she added.
"The Russian-backed militants also damaged the supervisory control and communication systems, destroyed administrative buildings and stole a lot of vehicles," she claimed.
Kiev fascists complicit with Washington bear full responsibility for months of naked aggression, likely tens of thousands of lives lost, countless numbers maimed for life, and Europe's greatest refugee/humanitarian crisis since WW II.
They're guilty of major crimes of war and against humanity. Blaming their ruthlessness on courageous freedom fighters doesn't wash.
Anyone can easily know what happened and remains ongoing by following reliable independent web sites and reports.
Ignore government/corporate controlled scoundrel media. Presstitutes paid to lie.
UNHCR estimates around 1,042,000 internally displaced Ukrainians. Plus hundreds of thousands more in Russian safe havens.
Anyone in Ukraine opposing Kiev's war faces possible arrest and imprisonment on charges of sedition or treason.
Independent journalism is strictly verboten. Ukraine is one of the world's most dangerous places for reporting hard truths. Doing so risks incarceration or death.
Obama's friends are ruthless cutthroat killers. One fascist regime supports another.
DPR head negotiator Denis Pushilin appealed to international "guarantors" to enforce Minsk terms.
Rebels began observing them straightaway. Kiev forces commit repeated violations. Including so far failing to withdraw heavy weapons as agreed on.
They're in no hurry to do it, said Pushilin. "If they keep lagging behind on schedule, we will, naturally, call on (international) guarantors to (enforce) implementation of" Minsk.
If past is prologue, expect repeated Kiev violations. Expect resumption of full-scale war at Washington's discretion. Maybe by spring.
Perhaps this time with Obama ordering rebel positions bombed. Maybe followed by invading US forces.
Minsk and current relative calm by no means end conflict. It could rage again whenever Obama says so. How Russia responds remains to be seen.
The risk of greater war on its border remains real. For the first time since WW II, another European conflict is possible.
With lunatics running things in Washington, possible nuclear war threatens humanity.
Be scared. Be very scared enough to do whatever it takes to prevent it. Planetary survival may be on the line like never before.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.