Updated 12:55 p.m. Moscow time
MOSCOW, October 20 (RIA Novosti) – The Minsk agreements have renewed the possibility for resolving Ukraine’s political crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
"Now after signing the Minsk agreements, the likelihood of a political settlement [in Ukraine] has appeared again. As you know, during the events in Milan, [Russian] President [Vladimir Putin] again confirmed our support for the full implementation from all parties that concluded them under the assistance from Russia and the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe]," Lavrov said.
The assistance encompasses "the disengagement of the parties, withdrawal of heavy weapons, establishing the OSCE’s motoring of the disengagement line, and the preparation of the elections in the southeast [of Ukraine]," the minister stressed. The first agreements were reached in April in Geneva, but they have not been implemented, Lavrov pointed out.
On April 17, Kiev signed a memorandum that envisaged a nationwide dialogue among all conflicting groups in Ukraine, and constitutional reforms aimed at devolving power to the regions.
About five months later, on September 5, the conflicting sides Russia and the OSCE’s mediation agreed on a ceasefire that came into force on the same day. The main provisions of the ceasefire entail a cessation of hostilities and an exchange of prisoners. On September 19, a memorandum stipulating the implementation of the truce was adopted.
After a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Milan on Friday, Putin told reporters that the agreements signed in Minsk should be a reference point for resolving the Ukrainian crisis in and should be strictly implemented.