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Talks on extending Minsk accords till end of 2015 inappropriate — Russian senior diplomat

July 23, 2015, 14:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Minsk accords outline the steps that the sides need to take, but say nothing about deadline on 1 January 2016, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin notes
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Normandy format Ukraine peace talks resulted in Minsk accords

Normandy format Ukraine peace talks resulted in Minsk accords

© Mykola Lazarenko/Ukrainian presidential press service/TASS

MOSCOW, July 23. /TASS/. Discussions about extending the Minsk agreements until the end of last year are inappropriate, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told TASS on Thursday.

"In my view, this is an overly simplified interpretation and incorrect formulation," Karasin said adding that "the Minsk agreements do not have any deadlines."

"The Minsk accords outline the steps that the sides need to take, but say nothing about deadline on 1 January 2016. This is a simplified interpretation. More than that, some provision were supposed to be implemented in a week after the signing of the agreement, but in reality it took much more time," the diplomat concluded.

Minsk agreements on Ukraine

The Minsk accords 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 accords also envisage ceasefire, 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.

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