Russia warns of sabotage of Minsk agreements

| Saturday, July 4, 2015 - 13:19
First Published |

Russia warns of sabotage of Minsk agreements

Moscow: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned that the Minsk agreements should not be violated by any country, nor should the peace progress in Ukraine be undermined.

"The Minsk agreements are just the package that cannot be violated," Lavrov stressed on Friday, warning "western colleagues" that any act of sabotage would be "unacceptable", Xinhua reported.

"There is an impression from the contacts in the 'Normandy Four ' (of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia) and other formats, which involved all interested sides in the Ukraine settlement, that there is growing temptation to revise the Minsk agreements," an online statement released by the foreign ministry quoted Lavrov as saying.

He urged western countries to exert more actively their influence over the Kiev authorities for the peaceful settlement of the prolonged Ukraine crisis.

During his meeting with his Luxembourg counterpart Jean Asselborn, Lavrov suggested every relevant parties of the Ukraine crisis get together again for a new round of negotiations, taking into account new developments and realities.

Currently, the Ukraine crisis, which began on Nov. 21, 2013 when then-president Viktor Yanukovych suspended preparations for the implementation of an association agreement with the European Union, remained stuck in political disputes between Kiev authorities and pro-independent insurgents in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.

The conflicting sides have reached agreements in February in the Belarussian capital of Minsk on peaceful settlement of the crisis, but the peaceful progress was currently at a standstill as Kiev government refused to grant legal special status to the two eastern regions in the Constitution.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Wednesday Kiev's decentralization plan envisages that the specific order of self rule in certain regions will be determined by a separate law.

The special status of certain areas in eastern Ukraine, which is one of the key issues of the decentralization reform that is written in the Minsk agreements, is one of the demands voiced by independence-seeking insurgents.

Lavrov accused the Kiev government for its "inability and unwillingness" to fulfill the commitments of organizing local elections through coordination with the two regions, or drawing up new constitution on decentralization.

"The establishment of direct and mutually respectful dialogue between Kiev and representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk is an essential component of successful movement towards peace," Lavrov stressed. 

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