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Council of Europe secretary general praises results of Minsk talks on Ukraine

February 12, 2015, 15:40 UTC+3 STRASBOURG
General Thorbjorn Jagland says he hopes the Minsk agreements will help pave a road for new political solutions through the constitutional reform
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Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland

© EPA/SERGEI CHIRIKOV

STRASBOURG, February 12. /TASS/. Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland has positively assessed the results of the summit on Ukraine conflict settlement in Minsk, the statement sent to TASS said.

Ceasefire in eastern Ukraine will be implemented starting from February 15, and heavy weaponry will be withdrawn from the disengagement line.

"Today’s agreement provides a basis for an effective ceasefire, but it is clear that much still needs to be done," Jagland said. "German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko did everything they could for this to happen," he added.

Jagland said he hopes the Minsk agreements will help "pave a road for new political solutions through the constitutional reform, which will allow to carry out necessary decentralization while fully observing the territorial integrity of Ukraine on the basis of European standards."

Denmark and Germany reaction to Minsk summit agreements

Earlier, Denmark’s Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard has praised the agreement reached at the summit on Ukraine in Minsk.

"This is great news from Minsk, which, I think, everyone will find satisfying," Lidegaard said. "It is important to stress, however, that this joy may materialize only if ceasefire is implemented and maintained," he noted. "I prefer to be an optimist though," the minister said.

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who arrived in Brussels today, has called the outcome of the Minsk talks "a great result." "We need to wait for when [French President Francois] Hollande comes," he said. The outcome of the negotiations gives a reason to believe that "a great result was achieved," Renzi stressed.

President of the European Parliament Martin Schultz has also welcomed the ceasefire agreement reached in Minsk.

Germany was more reserved in its comments on the results of the Minsk talks. All sides worked towards making progress, the talks were "very difficult," but their results are "not a breakthrough," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.

"Today’s agreements are neither a universal solution nor a breakthrough," Steinmeier added.

A timeframe was adopted for implementing the Minsk agreements at the the summit, he noted. "For the first time, we have set a timeframe for implementing the Minsk agreements — on elections, border control, prisoner exchange, to name a few," Steinmeier said.

The foreign minister made it clear he expected more from the Minsk talks. "For some people, it [the results] will seem insufficient. We also wanted to reach a better result," he said. "However, this is what presidents of Russia and Ukraine agreed upon," he concluded.

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