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MOSCOW, March 14. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his French counterpart Laurent Fabius noted in their phone conversation encouraging shifts in implementing military aspects of the Minsk agreements, the Russian foreign ministry said on Saturday.
"The interlocutors noted encouraging shifts in implementing military aspects of the Minsk agreements of February 12, 2015 and underlined the necessity for more active efforts in implementing humanitarian, economic and social commitments recorded in them along with implementation of political reforms," the ministry’s statement says.
Also, two men noted encouraging shifts in implementing military aspects of the Minsk agreements and "underlined the necessity for more active efforts in implementing humanitarian, economic and social commitments recorded in them along with implementation of political reforms," the ministry’s statement says.
"The French side confirmed its readiness for providing technical assistance in restoration of the system of banking services for population in Ukraine’s south-eastern regions," it said.
On Friday the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics /DPR and LPR respectively/, Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, asked Berlin to send specialists to Donetsk and Lugansk "for advisory assistance in restoration of the Donbass banking system," securing guarantees to these persons.
The DPR and LPR leaders’ appeal was issued because of Kiev’s failure to fulfil several provisions of the Minsk agreements. So the DPR and LPR leaders asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande as guarantors of the Minsk agreements to exert pressure on Ukraine’s leadership so that it would fulfil commitments made at peace talks in the Belarusian capital.
According to Item 4 of the Minsk accords, Kiev agreed that within a 30-day period of time the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, would adopt a draft law on a special political and economic status for certain parts in Donbass by March 14.
Meanwhile, the law is unlikely to be adopted in time as the Verkhovna Rada had planned no meetings for either Friday or Saturday, March 13 and 14.
On February 12 marathon talks between the Normandy Four leaders - Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko - in Minsk yielded a package of agreements, which in particular envisaged ceasefire between the Ukrainian conflicting sides starting from midnight on February 15.
Simultaneously, Minsk hosted a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine involving Ukraine’s ex-president Leonid Kuchma, Kiev’s special representative for humanitarian issues Viktor Medvedchuk, the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics /DPR and LPR/ Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, and Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and OSCE’s envoy Heidi Tagliavini, both acting as mediators.
As a result, a package of measures was adopted to implement the Minsk agreements.