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    Ukrainian serviceman stands near tanks at an apartment house in Avdiivka, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017

    Kiev Sabotaging Minsk Deal Implementation – Russian Foreign Minister

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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Kiev is sabotaging the implementation of the Minsk agreements in Donbass.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Kiev is sabotaging the implementation of the Minsk agreements in Donbass, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Mir television channel in an interview.

    "We are greatly concerned with what is happening with the implementation of the Minsk agreements, primarily due to the sabotage from the side of the Kiev authorities. This applies to… a complete sabotage of the political process and armed provocations on the contact line organized on a regular basis in order to have an excuse not to fulfill the political part of the package of measures approved in Minsk," Lavrov said.

    Lavrov stressed that according to the common viewpoint of the Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, there was no alternative to the current format of the Minsk Agreements now, and it was necessary to further work within the framework of the Normandy Four format on different levels as well as within the Contact Group on Ukrainian reconciliation.

    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 what was considered as a coup. In February 2015, the two sides agreed to a ceasefire after the talks brokered by the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine – the so-called Normandy Format – in the Belarusian capital, Minsk.

    The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, 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 the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. Both sides of the conflict, however, have been constantly accusing each other of violating the agreement.

    On March 15, the Trilateral Contact Group decided to declare on a new ceasefire in Donbass for the duration of the Easter holidays starting on April 1. However, the ceasefire failed to hold with both sides of the conflict continuing to blame each other of violations.

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    Minsk protocol, Sergei Lavrov, Donbass, Ukraine
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