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State Department: Kerry, Lavrov stress need of Minsk deal implementation by all parties

January 15, 9:58 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
In a phone conversation the top diplomats agreed to continue the dialogue on Ukraine and Syria and to meet more specifically in Zurich, Switzerland on January 20
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Sergey Lavrov (left) and John Kerry

Sergey Lavrov (left) and John Kerry

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS Archive

WASHINGTON, January 15. /TASS/. US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in a phone conversation on Thursday stressed the importance of the Minsk deal implementation by all the parties in Ukraine, US State Department spokesman John Kirby has said.

"On Ukraine, the secretary and Foreign Minister Lavrov both underscored the importance of full implementation of the Minsk agreement by all parties," Kirby told reporters.

They agreed to continue the dialogue on Ukraine and Syria and to meet more specifically in Zurich, Switzerland on January 20, Kirby said.

The Minsk agreements, approved in the Belarussian capital on February 12, 2015 by Normandy Four (Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France) and also by the Contact Group, envisaged a ceasefire between the Ukrainian forces and people’s militias starting from February 15.

The deal, known as Minsk-2, also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions. The accords also envisaged a prisoner exchange on the "all for all" basis.

The Ukrainian forces and militias 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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