MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Washington is building up pressure on Ukraine in order to ensure that Kiev fulfills its obligations under the Minsk peace agreement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"According to our evaluations that are based on information from different sources, the United States is indeed building up pressure on the Ukrainian side right now so that it fulfills the part of the Minsk agreements that concerns it. In that part the majority of political agreements are entirely dependent on how Kiev will negotiate with Donetsk and Luhansk," Lavrov said in an interview on Russia's Vesti v Subbotu weekly news program on the Rossiya television channel.
In February 2015, a peace agreement was signed between Kiev forces and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics (DPR and LPR), established in Ukraine’s southeast after the May 2014 independence referendums. The deal, signed in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, stipulates a full ceasefire, a weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, an all-for-all prisoner exchange and constitutional reforms, which would give a special status to DPR and LPR.
Under the Minsk peace deal, constitutional reforms aimed at decentralizing power in Ukraine and the initiation of local elections in Donbas should have been concluded before the end of 2015.
The country's regions of Donetsk and Luhansk agreed to postpone their local elections until 2016. Before elections in those regions can take place, Ukrainian authorities must fulfill all their obligations under the Minsk peace agreement.
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