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KIEV, December 22. /TASS/. Russia will spare no effort to have the Minsk agreements implemented in full, Russian’ Charge d’Affaires in Ukraine Alexander Lukashik said on Thursday.
"Settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine is task number one. We see that instruments for that are available," he said at a roundtable meeting in the Russian Center of Science and Culture in Kiev.
Despite little progress in the existing formats of settlement (the Minsk and Normandy Four formats - TASS), negotiations will be continues, he said, adding that there still are prospects for peace settlement of the situation in Donbass. "Russia will spare no effort to have the Minsk agreements implemented in full," he stressed.
According to Lukashik, one of the most pressing problems is prisoner exchange. "Prisoner exchange is a hot-button topic but the prospects are promising. "The day when practical steps in this process are made is coming soon," he added.
Prisoner exchange is among provisions of the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the situation in southeastern Ukraine reached in September 2014. Apart from that, 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 regime between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) starting from February 15, 2015 and a 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.