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    Russia to Never Allow Revision of Minsk Agreements on Ukraine - Lavrov

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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Moscow will not allow anyone to rewrite the February 12 Minsk agreements on Ukrainian reconciliation.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Moscow will not allow anyone to rewrite the February 12 Minsk agreements on Ukrainian reconciliation, signed after hours of talks between the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has stressed in an interview with Russia's Rossiya 1 TV channel.

    "Nothing will be rewritten. The Minsk agreements are the result of 17-hour-long talks. The documents were signed by representatives of Kiev, Luhansk and Donetsk with the participation of Russia and the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe].They have been unanimously approved by the UN Security Council," Lavrov said on Saturday.

    The Russian foreign minister added that it was possible that the Minsk agreements allow for slightly varied interpretations of certain points "but not to the extent shown in the decisions of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada."

    On Tuesday, the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada) decided to postpone giving special status to the Luhansk and Donetsk self-proclaimed people's republics (LPR and DPR) until they hold local elections that will be in line with Ukrainian legislation. According to Lavrov, the new law, signed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday, is a gross violation of the Minsk agreements, which stipulate broader autonomy and special status for DPR and LPR.

    "The documents say that discussing practical issues of holding elections [in Donbas] under Ukrainian law should only be conducted with the agreement of Donetsk and Luhansk. This has not been done," Lavrov stressed in the Saturday interview aired on Rossiya 1.

    The breakaway regions in Ukraine's southeast (Donbas) must be granted special status immediately to foil Kiev's plans to take the region back by force, Russian Foreign Minister stressed.

    "The law on special status of Donbas must be introduced immediately, as it was agreed, and not leave this 'happy' moment hanging until the times when Ukrainian authorities hope to conquer these territories by force," Lavrov said.

    On Tuesday, the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada) decided to postpone giving special status to the Luhansk and Donetsk self-proclaimed people's republics (LPR and DPR) until and only if elections are held in Donbas under Ukrainian law, and declared parts of the regions "occupied" territories.

    Lavrov has pointed out that the law, signed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday, is a gross violation of the peace agreements reached in Minsk on February 12, following talks between the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France. The Minsk deal has a number of provisions, including one stipulating broader autonomy and special status for Donbas.

    On Friday, LPR leader Igor Plotnitsky stressed that elections in Donbas must be held only after they have been coordinated and agreed with the self-proclaimed people's republics. According to Plotnitsky, any subsequent steps in Ukraine's reconciliation will become pointless if the process does not start on the right footing.

    Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk announced their independence from Ukraine in early April as local residents refused to recognize the new coup-installed government. In response, Kiev launched a military operation in the region.

    A law granting "special status" and broader autonomy to parts of the breakaway regions was introduced by Kiev last fall but was abolished shortly afterward.

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    Tags:
    Minsk agreements, Luhansk People’s Republic, Donetsk People’s Republic, Ukraine
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