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

    Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov on Wednesday criticized the statements of French President Francois Hollande with regard to the settlement of the conflict in Ukraine's eastern regions.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Hollande said at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) meeting that Ukraine should take responsibility for the reforms in the country and also should implement the Minsk peace deal, which includes holding elections in the country's east that should be held before Kiev gains control over the state border, controlled by the self-proclaimed republics of Donbass at the moment.

    "French President Francois Hollande, speaking at the PACE, has voiced issues that are totally unacceptable for Ukraine. He demanded elections in Donbass at first and only afterward the withdrawal of Russia's occupation troops from the Ukrainian territory and return of control over the Ukrainian-Russian border to Ukraine. He wants the elections [to be held] right after ceasefire and separation of troops," Avakov said on his Facebook page.

    He added that the French leader should not have expressed such views on the settlement, adding that Hollande's statements were unacceptable for any "real Ukrainian."

    Kiev launched a special military operation in Ukraine’s southeast in April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, which came to power as a result of a West-sponsored coup.

    In February 2015, a peace agreement, which was agreed by the Normandy Four countries, namely Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, was signed between Ukraine’s conflicting sides in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

    Under the deal, constitutional reforms aimed at decentralizing power in Ukraine and the initiation of local elections in Donbass must have been concluded. The country's breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk agreed to postpone their local elections until 2016. Before elections in those regions can take place, Ukraine authorities must fulfill all the Minsk agreement obligations.

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


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