MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. Resolving a problem relating to Kiev’s bill on a special status of Donbas is a priority issue now. This document is an attempt to reinterpret this status and distorts the Minsk agreements, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.
"We assume, above all, that it’s necessary to urgently intensify the process within the framework of the Contact Group, because the Minsk agreements as well as the Package of Measures to implement them adopted on February 12 are a series of measures to be implemented within the Contact Group," Russia’s top diplomat said. "The Normandy Four has adopted a declaration to support this set of measures, agreeing to control this process," he added.
"By means of our daily contacts with colleagues in France and Germany, we’re talking about the necessity to send a strong signal to Kiev, which is hindering the work of the Contact Group on the implementation of the political, humanitarian and socio-economic aspects of the Minsk agreements," the Russian Foreign Minister said. He added that of primary importance now was "resolving the complex problematic situation that had emerged after President Poroshenko summited to the Verkhona Rada a bill [on a special status of Donbas]."
"The law on the special status has already been passed, and this bill is an attempt to reinterpret this status, to make it conditional on the elections in south-eastern regions, which will be held without the participation of the current leadership of the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk," Lavrov said.
"This is a sharp departure from the Minsk agreements and the whole concept laid down in Minsk on February 12. "It requires coordinating all steps with the leaders of Ukraine’s south-eastern regions," the Russian Foreign Minister said.
"We appeal to our colleagues in France and Germany, I’ve talked to the top diplomats in both countries over the past few days, today I’m directing to them another proposal to intensify efforts on the unconditional implementation of the Minsk accords in their entirety and in strict compliance with the step sequence", Lavrov added.