MOSCOW, June 2. /TASS/. Political reforms in Ukraine are essential for the settlement of the situation in its eastern regions, but complete ceasefire is needed to implement other provisions of the Minsk agreements, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel on Tuesday.
"All signatories to the agreement have liabilities on the implementation of its provisions," he said. "It is necessary to begin with the first part of these liabilities, i.e. ceasefire, prisoner exchange and heavy weapons pullout." These provisions, he said, had not yet been implemented.
"Reforms in Ukraine are also vitally important for the implementation of the Minsk agreements," the Italian foreign minister said. "Elections in Ukraine’s eastern regions are needed. Such elections must involve observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and this is also a part of the process. All the parties must confirm their liabilities."
"The Minsk agreements are not a phantom of the imagination, they were committed to paper," he underscored.
A peace deal struck on February 12 in Minsk, Belarus, by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and people’s militias starting from February 15, followed by withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of military engagement and prisoner release.
Among the terms of the deal was agreement for international observers sent by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to monitor the truce.