06:16 GMT +319 June 2018
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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, and Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, during a meeting at the Russian Foreign Ministry's Reception House

    Lavrov: Moscow, Paris Share Position There's No Alternative to Minsk Agreements

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    Moscow and Paris state that the Minsk deal is the only way out of the Ukrainian civil war.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, after talks with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Moscow, said Tuesday that, according to the position of both sides, there is no alternative to the Minsk agreements on Ukraine.

    "Our common position is the need for full implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures, we believe that there is no alternative to this document, this compromise," Lavrov said.

    The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

    In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement brokered by the Normandy Four states (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine), the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.


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    Minsk accords, Ukrainian crisis, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Sergei Lavrov, France, Donbass, Ukraine, Russia
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