Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Ukraine will withdraw from Minsk agreements if the Council of Europe lifts Russian sanctions

Ukraine is willing to desist from implementing the Minsk Agreements if several European states agree to loosen sanctions against the Russian Federation in the Council of Europe, stated Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin as reported by Interfax-Ukraine.

“A lot of people asked me yesterday how the Council of Europe will (move forward on the issue of sanctions against the Russian Federation). I told them honestly that if they choose to follow several other countries, I’ll go out and say that “first of all, Minsk [agreements] do not exist anymore, and, second, it was killed not only by Moscow, but ultimately by you,” the Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs told reporters in Brussels.

According to Klimkin, allies in France, Germany, the Netherlands and other countries heard the message.

In 2017, Moscow stopped contributing to the Council of Europe’s budget. According to the Statute of the Council of Europe, if by June of this year the Russian side fails to meet its financial obligations, the country may be deprived of representation rights in the organization.

Previously, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine warned the Council of Europe against giving any concessions to Russia and stated that the Russian Federation’s blackmail was causing a crisis at the organization.

On February 12, 2015, participants from the Trilateral Contact Group signed the “Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements” following negotiations in Minsk. In particular, these agreements seek to enforce an immediate and comprehensive cease-fire in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as calls for both sides to equally pull back their heavy weaponry. It also aims to fully restore Ukrainian control over the state border and withdraw Russian mercenaries, illegally armed groups and equipment from the Donbas.

  Klimkin, Ukraine, Russia, Europe, Minsk agreements, Council of Europe