The withdrawal of troops and weapons, as well as ensure access of the OSCE to the occupied territories of Eastern Ukraine must precede the holding of elections in the Donbass. On 4 February, said, speaking Thursday at the International press centre in Washington over the priorities of U.S. foreign policy, state Department spokesman John Kirby, reports UKRINFORM.
«The pledge to reach Minsk is to achieve withdrawal of all troops, the withdrawal of weapons, be granted full access of the OSCE and, thus, to hold real elections and make it so that Ukrainians can decide their future for themselves», — said the representative of the state Department.
It is this vision of the situation in Washington, said Kirby. «And when that happens, it will be possible to speak of the relief of sanctions (against Russia – ed.)», — said the representative of the state Department.
«Again, the international community coalesced around this, Russia itself indicated the importance of the Minsk agreements», — said Kirby.
He also noted that the U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry and Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a recent meeting. «So, we want to see the Minsk implementation in full», — said the representative of the foreign Department of the USA.
Recall, December 30, 2015 held telephone talks the leaders of «Norman Quartet» (Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France). The parties agreed on the extension of the Minsk agreements and new meeting of foreign Ministers in January 2015.
The representative of Ukraine in the tripartite contact group on settlement of the conflict in Ukraine Roman Bezsmertny said that as of 1 January 2016 has begun «the process of the Minsk-3».
January 11, flew to Kiev a Russian representative to the Minsk talks, former speaker of the state Duma Boris Gryzlov. According to media reports, he held a secret meeting with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.
On 13 January the President of Ukraine has held a phone conversation with Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and President of France Francois Hollande. Among other things, they raised the issue of the modalities for the elections in the occupied Donbas.
On the same day, US presidents and Russia Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin also discussed the issue.
January 15, the U.S. assistant Secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia , Victoria Nuland, arrived from Lithuania to Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation, where she met with Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov. The consultations were held behind closed doors. After negotiations, the parties have refrained from comments.
On 18 January, the representatives of the German Chancellor and the French President visited Kiev. Also they had to negotiate in Moscow.
1 February, Poroshenko and Merkel in Berlin agreed on the implementation of the Minsk agreements. The Chancellor said that sanctions against Russia will be saved, while Russia does not fulfill Minsky arrangements.
February 2, Merkel held a telephone conversation with Putin and urged him to influence the occupation of Donbass.
Note, the sanctions and low oil prices threaten Russia’s default. Many experts believe that for the sake of the economy, the Kremlin will replace aggressive with «reconciliatory» policies and can leave the occupied Donbass.
Meanwhile, Russia is trying to achieve for occupied areas of the Donbass «special status» to the Ukrainian Constitution, but official Kiev refuses to take such a step.
Department of state: elections in occupied Donbas is only possible after withdrawal of troops of the Russian Federation and OSCE access 05.02.2016