During a broadcast of Russia 1, when asked about whether Russia will recognize the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded that the Kremlin remains committed to Minsk Agreements.
According to the Russian Minister, deviation from the Minsk agreements would be a “colossal mistake." "You know, unlike some of our international colleagues, we [Russia] are still people of our word; and we always stand by our word, especially when it was the subject of negotiations and approved by the [UN] Security Council," he said.
Lavrov believes that the Ukrainian authorities "are one step away from this error", recalling the Verkhovna Rada’s adoption of the bill on the Donbas.
"Anyone who takes the first step towards breaking the Minsk Agreements will be making a colossal mistake. In truth, the Kyiv authorities are only one step away from this mistake if they eventually pass the law on reintegration, which has now made it through its second reading,” stated Lavrov.
At the same time, he called both the bill on the Donbas and the Law on Education "provocative."
On January 18, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a draft law on the reintegration of the Donbas, which specifically recognizes Russia as an aggressor and occupier. The legislative body adopted the draft legislation in its second reading, and in its entirety.
The next day, MPs from the Opposition Bloc faction made a draft resolution to repeal the results of the vote on the bill, because the speaker could not sign it.
The Minsk Agreements were agreed upon in February 2015 by the leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia. The document is aimed to de-escalate the armed conflict in the east of Ukraine and aid the removal of heavy weapons, as well as the withdrawal of foreign armed formations and mercenaries.
After that is completed, according to the agreements, Ukraine must conduct constitutional reform and establish the special status of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which are now controlled by the DPR and LPR factions, as separate regions. Additionally, the Minsk Agreements stipulate that elections must be held in these territories.