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Lavrov says no grounds for rewriting Minsk agreements

January 17, 2017, 14:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian top diplomat notes only Kiev is calling for rewriting the Minsk agreements

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© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, January 17. /TASS/. Russia sees no grounds for rewriting the Minsk agreements, neither France nor Germany nor US President-elect Donald Trump’s representatives have made such proposals, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during his annual press conference.

When a Ukrainian reporter asked the minister if Russia’s position on Ukraine could change after the new US administration took office, Lavrov said that "I have no intentions to rewrite the Minsk agreements. They have been enshrined in a UN Security Council resolution. I have heard neither France nor Germany propose this as members of the Normandy Quartet. Donetsk and Lugansk, as members of the Contact Group, did not propose this either. On the contrary, the world community has been repeating that there is no alternative to the Minsk agreements."

"I haven’t heard Donald Trump’s team point to the need to bury the Minsk agreements and solve the eastern Ukraine crisis in some other way," the Russian top diplomat added.

He noted that only Kiev had been calling for rewriting the Minsk agreements. "Indeed, Ukraine’s political circles as well as high-ranking officials have been making statements saying that no one is going to implement these agreements so they need to be rewritten and that the US needs to be included in the Normandy format," Lavrov said.

"We have been hearing these statements for quite some time now, actually since the agreements were signed. But this is why we don’t even have to review these statements," the Russian foreign minister concluded.

Masterminds of Ukraine's coup violated Budapest memorandum

Lavrov went on to say that the organizers of the 2014 government coup in Ukraine violated the Budapest Memorandum by failing to ensure the emergence of a government of national unity in accordance with the agreements between the authorities and the opposition.

The Budapest Memorandum, he said, contained the political obligations to respect the sovereignty and independence of the Ukrainian state.

"Being unable to comply with the pledge to create a government of national unity against the security of guarantees of France, Poland and Germany the Ukrainian plotters crudely violated the Budapest Memorandum on the need to respect the unity and territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state," Lavrov said.

Respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity fully agreed with Russia’s position, he stated.

"What certainly cannot be found in the Budapest Memorandum is the obligation of Russia or any other party to agree with the results of the anti-constitutional armed revolt, with a government coup, whose plotters in their first move declared a war on the Russian language and Russians in Crimea," he said.

The sole mandatory obligation contained in the Budapest Memorandum was "nuclear-free Ukraine should never be a target for the use of force involving nuclear weapons," Lavrov said.

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