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MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. Russia and the United States have confirmed that there is no alternative to the Minsk-2 accords on the Ukrainian crisis settlement, but they have some disagreements over their practical implementation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday after Russian-American talks.
"As for Ukraine, the main thing that happened today is the confirmation of the fact that there is not alternative to a political settlement and the fulfilment of the Mnsk-2 agreements," he said. "Yes, there are nuances of putting this into practice - the related efforts have been in the ‘Normandy format, including within the framework of the Paris summit in October 2015 when the roadmap of the political process was agreed upon." The roadmap, the minister said, tied together a very complex sequence of actions.
"Unfortunately, this roadmap is not fulfilled so far," Lavrov said. In addition to the Normandy format there is also a bilateral channel opened last summer by an agreement between the Russian and US presidents. We appreciate the US interest in assisting the settlement of the problem." "The more so that the ultimate goals of the Minsk-2 implementation are the same for all external players," he added.
Moscow hopes that "the same as in the case with Syria, pressure will be exerted on all the sides in the Ukrainian crisis." "Taking into account the special US relations with the Kiev government, we hope that their specificity will be actively used to encourage Kiev to fulfil the commitments it signed," the Russian foreign minister said. "And we really committed ourselves to ensure the fulfilment by Donbass of the accords signed by their representatives In Minsk".
The Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements, known as Minsk-2, that was signed in Minsk on February 12, 2015 envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk starting from February 15, 2015 and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.
On January 13, 2016, the Trilateral Contact Group meeting in the Belarusian capital city Minsk agreed on yet another, the seventh, ceasefire in Donbass from January 14. The sides however continue to accuse each other of ceasefire violation.