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Lavrov: foreign ministers of "Normandy Quartet" against attempts to disrupt Minsk accords

June 24, 2015, 2:33 UTC+3 PARIS
There is a feeling that there are forces that want to disrupt the process, Russian Foreign Minister said
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PARIS, June 24. /TASS/. The foreign ministers of the "Normandy Quartet" (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine) have unanimously spoken against attempts to disrupt the Minsk accords and bring the situation in Donbass to a military scenario, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

"There is a feeling that there are forces that want to disrupt the process. I will not name them. Many [forces] prefer a military scenario for different reasons. Some [forces] want for the situation not to improve, but on the opposite, to deteriorate," Lavrov said.

"All four ministers firmly spoke against such attempts, and in favor of Minsk-2 to remain the basis of joint efforts," he added. "My colleagues from Germany and France, in particular, stressed that there is no alternative to Minsk-2," Lavrov concluded.

Minsk agreements on Ukraine

The Minsk accords on the Ukrainian settlement were signed on February 12, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko. The talks lasted for around 14 hours. Simultaneously, a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukrainian settlement was held in Minsk.

The Minsk agreements envisage ceasefire, heavy weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local elections in Donbass, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.

The Ukrainian forces and the self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.

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