16:55 GMT08 April 2020
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    The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics (DPR and LPR) in eastern Ukraine must take serious steps to implement the Minsk peace agreements and Russia should use its influence to make them do it, US State Secretary John Kerry said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Addressing the implementation of the Minsk peace deals, Kerry stated that the DPR and LPR militias continue to violate the ceasefire in Donbas, allegedly refusing to allow the OSCE to fully monitor the situation at the borders, and that they have not yet released hostages.

    "So there is a list of things that separatists need to do, and we believe Russia has the ability to affect those, make them happen," Kerry said in an interview with Rossiya 24 television.

    He noted that the Ukrainian authorities had engaged in difficult political decisions and the country’s parliament had passed laws under difficult circumstances in order to show its commitment to the Minsk accords’ implementation.

    "We will continue to help the government in Kiev comply. We need Russia to continue to make certain that the separatists also comply. I believe that if both sides do their part here, we could actually see an end to the conflict. We could see elections, we could see election modalities put in place, and we could see the sanctions ultimately lifted from Russia with the full compliance with the Minsk agreement," Kerry explained.

    Kiev authorities launched a military operation against independence militia in Ukraine’s east in April 2014. The confrontation has claimed over 9,000 lives, according to UN estimates.

    In February 2015, Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany worked out a ceasefire deal in Minsk later signed by Kiev and the Donbas militia. Despite the fact that the agreement was reached over a year ago, both sides have repeatedly reported violations of the deal.

    The European Union, like the United States, imposed a series of sanctions against Russia, accusing it of interfering in the conflict between the Kiev government and independence forces in southeastern Ukraine. Moscow denies the allegations, maintaining that it was an instrumental party in negotiating the Minsk agreement.



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    Minsk agreements, Minsk accords, Minsk protocol, John Kerry, Donbass, Ukraine, Russia
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