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    Ukrainian servicemen ride atop armored vehicle with a canon in tow and Ukrainian flags, near the village of Fedorivka, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015

    John Kerry Prompts Moscow to Work With NATO on Implementation of Minsk Accords

    © AFP 2019 / Evgeniy Maloletka
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    US Secretary of State John Kerry called on Russia to cooperate with NATO to complete the implementation of Minsk accords to end the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russia should work with the NATO alliance to implement the Minsk agreements with Ukraine, US Secretary of State John Kerry said at a ministerial meeting in Brussels on Tuesday.

    "I would call on Russia once again to work with all of us to fully implement the Minsk agreement," Kerry stated.

    Kerry explained he expected NATO ministers to reiterate their support for Ukraine at meetings scheduled for Wednesday.

    Last week, Russia's Permanent Representative at the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich said Kiev was skirting its responsibilities under the Minsk agreement and refusing to document its position, which effectively blocked new negotiations.

    In 2014, relations between the United States and Russia deteriorated significantly as the crisis in Ukraine escalated, with Crimea rejoining Russia and pro-independence eastern Ukrainian militias rising up against Kiev's rule.

    In February 2015, the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine brokered a ceasefire deal in the Belarusian capital of Minsk to resolve the crisis.

    The Minsk agreement calls for Kiev to afford local autonomy in eastern Ukraine, including special status to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics. The deal also stipulates a full ceasefire, withdrawing weapons from the line of contact, and an all-for-all prisoner exchange.

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    Minsk accords, NATO, John Kerry, Ukraine, Russia, United States
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