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Poroshenko says ceasefire main precondition for implementing Minsk accords

September 14, 2015, 11:15 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

An interview with the Ukrainian president was posted on Monday by The Washington Post (US), The Independent (UK) and Die Welt (Germany)

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© Nikolay Lazarenko/TASS

WASHINGTON, September 14. /TASS/. Ceasefire is the main and the most important precondition for launching an implementation of the Minsk agreement on the settlement of the situation in south-east Ukraine, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told The Washington Post (US), The Independent (UK) and Die Welt (Germany) in an interview published on Monday.

If election is held in Donbas without coordination with Kiev, "this is a red line," Poroshenko said. "First, the Minsk process and the peace process will be in a big danger, because that will be in direct violation of Minsk. And it should be a reaction. What kind of reaction are we talking about? Sanctions. We do not expect that our international partners go into a war. We are doing an almost impossible thing, we built up one of the strongest armies on the continent," he added.

"Of course, we are asking for defensive weapons, if it happens," the Ukrainian president continued. "We don’t talk about the lethal weapons. Ukraine is an industrialized nation that can produce their own weapons. We’re talking about the defensive weapons, which help us just defensively," he stressed.

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 Petro Poroshenko.

The Minsk accords envisage ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbas, 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 Luhansk republics have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.

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