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Russian envoy urges Kiev to implement Minsk deal

August 16, 20:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A Russian envoy hopes efforts to persuade Kiev to implement the Minsk Agreements will eventually succeed

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MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. Efforts to persuade Kiev to implement the Minsk Agreements will eventually succeed, Russia’s representative to the Contact Group for settling the situation in Ukraine Boris Gryzlov said in an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily on Wednesday.

"I believe the European Union’s political circles understand the actual origin of the domestic Ukrainian conflict that the Kiev authorities for the past three years have been trying to resolve by using military force," he said. "The Minsk Agreements, signed on February 12, 2015, do not demand that Ukraine do something that it cannot do. Kiev only has to start moving towards a political solution and give up attempts to find a military one," Gryzlov added.

"The status of Donbass has been the key issue at the negotiations," the Russian envoy went on to say. "The Minsk Agreements stipulate that the safety, cultural and language rights of the Donbass residents should be respected, as well as their right to elect local authorities," he added.

According to Gryzlov, in the past several years, the Ukrainian authorities have been making statements saying that the Minsk process is slowly dying. "These are only judgements. The reality is that some forces, particularly the Ukrainian ‘war party,’ want to destroy it. Hence their draft law on reintegration [of Donbass - TASS], aimed at promoting a military solution," he said. "Such intentions strengthen Donbass’ will to oppose Kiev," the Russian envoy noted.

"I very much hope that participants in the process, supported by other countries, will manage to persuade the Kiev authorities to take steps aimed at finding a political solution, which means that they should sign the amnesty law, adopt and election law and decide on the special status of Donbass in accordance with the constitutional reform," Gryzlov said. "Kiev should understand that it has to implement its obligations," he concluded.

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