MOSCOW, July 3. /TASS/. If the Minsk accords are implemented in full, the possibility of lifting sanctions from Russia may be considered in six months, Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselbourn said on Friday at a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
"I think that only implementing the Minsk agreements is necessary for lifting sanctions. EU does not agree with Russia’s actions in Ukraine, they arise concern, but current restrictive measures are not final, they can be reviewed," Asselbourn said. "If the Minsk agreements are implemented, then sanctions can be reviewed after 31 December 2015. If we reach real progress before this date, then it will be possible to talk about easing or lifting sanctions," he added.
"I think that efforts made in the framework of the ‘Normandy format’ at the ministerial level are very important, we also support the three-party format between Russia, Ukraine and OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe]," the Luxembourgian foreign minister noted. "All interested parties should do everything possible to implement the Minsk agreements that have no alternative," he added.
Asselbourn said he thinks Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has necessary political will to carry out the decentralization of the country which would allow to fulfill the constitutional process in Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said EU can play a more active role in the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine. Russia and EU have certain disagreements about settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, but are confident that they can reach consensus on this issue, Asselbourn said.
"Despite the fact that Russia and EU have certain differences on the crisis settlement, implementation of the Minsk accords, we have political will and we are confident that we can reach an agreement and reach peace and disarmament in Ukraine, establish a political dialogue," he added.
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.