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Lavrov: Europe Should Make Kiev Implement Minsk Accords

© AP Photo / Evgeny KrawsUS soldier, left, instructs a Ukrainian soldier during joint training exercises on the military base in the Lviv region.
US soldier, left, instructs a Ukrainian soldier during joint training exercises on the military base in the Lviv region. - Sputnik International
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The West should exert more pressure on Kiev to make it implement the Minsk deals, Russia's foreign minister said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia is interested in the West more aggressively pursuing the implementation of a set of ceasefire agreements in Donbass, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in talks with his Italian counterpart Monday.

"Of course we are all very concerned about what is happening in Ukraine, not only in the east but also in the entire country as a whole. We are interested in ensuring that our European partners are much more persistent in pursuing the Minsk agreements," Lavrov said at a meeting with Angelino Alfano.

Ukrainian military veteran walks along rails as he takes part in a blockade against ongoing trade with Russian-backed insurgents, on February 23, 2017, in Kryvyi Torets railway station, Donetsk region - Sputnik International
Kiev 'on Verge of Losing Donetsk and Lugansk' With Donbass Blockade
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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