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Lavrov Expresses Russia’s ‘Alarm’ That Minsk Agreements on Ukraine Could Be Changed

Feb. 10, 2020 (EIRNS)—During his business breakfast discussion with Rossiyskaya Gazeta today, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, “We are worried over [Ukraine Foreign Minister Vadym] Prystaiko’s recent statements that in case no positive steps are taken in the near future, by Russia again, Kiev may look at an alternative to the Minsk agreements.” Lavrov demanded, “And what kind of alternatives? The ones our American colleagues, and the Kiev authorities with their backing, have been enthusiastically pushing for: control of the border first, and then everything will be all right.”

The Russian view of the Minsk agreements is that they call for the settling of the special status of Ukraine’s Donbas region, before returning control of the border, which is monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), with Russia back to the Kiev authorities. But what Prystaiko has been talking about is reversing that order.

Lavrov recalled that Russian President Vladimir Putin, in reply to such views, had repeatedly drawn attention to those “who are consolidating under neo-Nazi slogans in Ukraine and how they threaten to use force.”

Lavrov also charged that Kiev, under pressure from the U.S., failed to put together a plan for the disengagement of forces along the entire line of contact because, he said, Kiev doesn’t want to see the Minsk Agreements implemented. Lavrov pointed out that, prior to the Dec. 9 summit among Presidents Putin, Zelensky, French President Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel— the Normandy Four heads of state—Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had agreed to disengagement of forces along the entire 410-km line of contact, but at the summit itself he demanded that it be reviewed.

Lavrov said, “Still, we are confident that the Contact Group—which is a platform for resolving all issues concerning prisoner exchanges and the disengagement of forces—will remain focused on ensuring the full implementation of all agreements and paying attention to humanitarian and economic issues, though Kiev keeps ignoring the way they need to be resolved under the Minsk Agreements, as well as the political process.”

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