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Russia FM: There are prospects current ceasefire in Donbas will be sustainable

September 11, 2015, 15:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The foreign minister stressed the importance of withdrawing all mercenaries and foreigners fighting in Donbas on both sides

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© AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov

MOSCOW, September 11. /TASS/. Moscow wants to remind Kiev about the importance of consistently implementing Minsk-2, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

"Of course, we support the statement made by the Ukrainian president on the importance of full implementation of the Minsk agreements. If the Ukrainian side is still committed to responsibility that [Ukrainian] President [Petro] Poroshenko took on February 12 in Minsk, then the agreements outline very clearly the sequence of actions," Lavrov said. "It should be started with ceasefire. Thankfully, after numerous delays, there are finally prospects that the current ceasefire will be sustainable," he added.

"We are holding discussions in the framework of the Minsk process, in the framework of the Contact Group with participation of Kiev, Luhansk and Donetsk, on timeframe for weaponry withdrawal - mortars of 120mm caliber, artillery of less than 100mm caliber," he continued. "It was also discussed on September 9 during a telephone conversation between the leaders of the ‘Normandy Quartet’."

"After that, actions should follow on coordinating with Donetsk and Luhansk the issues of local election there on the basis of Ukrainian legislation and with participation of OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] observers. The law on special status of these territories should come into effect, followed by constitutional reform, where a special status will be outlined permanently," Lavrov said. "Amnesty should be carried out, economic ties restored and so on."

The foreign minister stressed the importance of withdrawing all mercenaries and foreigners fighting in Donbas. "They are fighting on both sides. From Western, Eastern and Northern Europe, from the Baltic States. People from the Balkans come to Donbas, to the territory controlled by Kiev," he noted.

"The restoration of Ukrainian state’s control along its border is envisaged. We definitely want Ukraine to remain a sovereign country with an agreement on decentralization," Lavrov said. "After the process of decentralization and constitutional reform, the control will be restored."

"So, Ukrainian president’s statements should be assessed from these positions. He definitely stressed those parts of the Minsk agreements that should be implemented only after Kiev makes the aforementioned steps," the foreign minister said. "At least, no such ultimatums were put forward during a telephone conversation on September. A very businesslike conversation was held on how to implement the agreements from February 12," he added.


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