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Kiev's Reluctance to Fulfill Minsk Deal 'Cannot Inspire Optimism' - Kremlin

© Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich / Go to the photo bankOne of the Kremlin towers in Moscow.
One of the Kremlin towers in Moscow. - Sputnik International
Kiev is reluctant to fulfill the Minsk deal, according to the Kremlin spokesman.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Lack of progress in the Ukrainian conflict settlement efforts has to do with the Ukrainian government's inability to fulfill its part of existing agreements, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

"In general, the working dynamic still cannot inspire optimism, and we are inclined to explain this minimal dynamic of progress by the reluctance or unwillingness of the Ukrainian side to fulfill its part of the obligations," Peskov told reporters.

He said assistant-level Normandy format consultations last Thursday resulted in "very little progress in terms of work on the initial provisions of the road map."

Ukrainian nationalist protesters and military veterans take part in a blockade against ongoing trade with the Donbass self-proclaimed republics, on February 23, 2017, in Kryvyi Torets railway station, Donetsk region - Sputnik International
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On Thursday, commenting on the results of the meeting, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that this was "a very difficult discussion" that did not achieve the desired results.

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 (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine), 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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