14:39 GMT02 March 2021
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    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)

    The self-proclaimed people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in Ukraine's southeast have implemented most of the Minsk deal's provisions, now it is Kiev's turn to take stipulated political and legal steps, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in the interview aired on Sunday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Minsk accords to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine were signed by representatives of the government in Kiev and the Donbass republics in February 2015. Key points of the Minsk deal include a ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, constitutional reforms, including a decentralization of power in the country, and the granting of special status to the Donbass region.

    "It would be fair to say that most of the [Minsk deal] provisions that were the responsibility of southeast Ukraine have been fulfilled. Most importantly, hostilities have ceased almost completely. Unfortunately, some action takes place from time to time, but not often. Finding political and legal solutions in keeping with the Minsk Agreements has now become vital. Whose responsibility is it? Of course, it is Ukraine’s responsibility," Medvedev told the Euronews television channel.

    He added that Kiev seem to be in no hurry to implement its part of the obligations.

    "They are talking about challenges, about failing to come to an agreement, that it would threaten the whole political framework. That may be so. It could be that it’s not easy for them. It is clear that they are going through a difficult period. However, this is what they should do for the sake of Ukraine’s future," Medvedev pointed out.

    The Russian prime minister stressed that this is the primary responsibility of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian government and the parliament.

    "They should find a compromise, obtain a constitutional majority, amend the constitution and start implementing legislation already in place – they have the authority to do it. Some laws have been adopted but have yet to be implemented. Some laws have not been passed yet. There are laws that have been adopted, but not signed. They need to address all those issues. As soon as all this is done, they can hold local elections," he said.

    He added that the elections should be held under the formula proposed by Frank-Walter Steinmeier: the self-government law is first applied on a provisional basis during the elections, and once their results are certified under OSCE procedures the law becomes permanent.

    "We have been saying this for a long time. The Russian President has raised this issue with Angela Merkel only recently. Yesterday I talked to Mr Steinmeier. Of course, our colleagues are talking to each other as well. But we have to do something. That’s what we keep telling our Ukrainian colleagues. This is the path they should take," Medvedev stressed.

    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)


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    ceasefire, Minsk protocol, OSCE, Angela Merkel, Dmitry Medvedev, Petro Poroshenko, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Donbass, Ukraine, Russia
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