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Berlin Expects US to Facilitate Implementation of Minsk Deal on Ukraine

© AP Photo / Evgeniy MaloletkaUkrainian soldier sits atop of a self-propelled gun as an army column of military vehicles prepares to roll to a frontline near Illovaisk, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine
Ukrainian soldier sits atop of a self-propelled gun as an army column of military vehicles prepares to roll to a frontline near Illovaisk, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine - Sputnik International
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Germany's foreign minister said Berlin expected Washington to facilitate the implementation of the Minsk deals on Ukraine.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Germany expects the United States to use the country’s influence on all the parties concerned to implement the Minsk agreements on the conflict settlement in Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Thursday.

"We would like to see the United States not only informed, but also using their capabilities, as an official representative of the State Department said, to exert influence on those whom they can influence, so that… [the Minsk agreements] were respected," Gabriel said after holding talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Gabriel is currently paying a two-day working visit to Moscow in order to discuss international issues, including the Syrian and Ukrainian crises and EU-Russia ties.

Train cars with coal at the Donetsk railway station. In early January, Ukrainian radicals who earlier participated in the fighting in the Donbass started a blockade against the Donetsk People's Republic - Sputnik International
Lavrov: Kiev Should Stop 'Unacceptable' Blockade Strangling Donbass
The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement brokered by the Normandy Four states, the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.

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