WASHINGTON, May 5. /TASS/. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday called for making Moscow honor its international commitments.
"We need to work together to call out Russia’s behavior, hold Russia accountable for its actions, and press Moscow to adhere to its international commitments and obligations," Blinken wrote in a Twitter post.
US Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price retweeted the post with the following message: "Russia must uphold its commitments under the Minsk agreements and work in good faith to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine. It must also end its illegal occupation of Crimea."
Russia has repeatedly expressed its commitment to the 2015 Minsk agreements, saying that they remain the only available option for peaceful settlement of the internal conflict in Ukraine. Also, Moscow stressed on many occasions that it was not a party to the Donbass conflict and favors full and unconditional implementation of the Minsk deal, which she had signed as a mediator in the peace process.
Efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Donbass are based on the Minsk Agreements, which particularly include moves to declare a ceasefire, withdraw weapons, declare amnesty, restore economic ties and conduct constitutional reform in Ukraine through dialogue with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR, LPR), aimed at decentralizing power and providing a special status to certain districts in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. However, the negotiation process has actually stalled because of Kiev’s refusal to fulfill the political provisions of the Minsk accords.
None of the political provisions has been fulfilled, including the constitutional reform and adoption of laws on special status and local elections in Donbass. Instead, Kiev demands that DPR and LPR cede their control over certain sections of the Russian-Ukrainian border, ignoring the fact that, according to the Minsk agreements, this should happen only after local elections. Besides, Kiev is reluctant to build any direct dialogue with the DPR and LPR. The Ukrainian side also refused to implement the provision on amnesty and continues its economic blockade of Donbass.
After the coup d’etat in Ukraine in February 2014, Crimea and Sevastopol held a referendum, in which 96.7% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deal on March 18, 2014, which the Federation Council (upper house of the Russian parliament) ratified on March 21, 2014. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.