Implementation of Minsk agreements by Russia, Ukraine to bring peace in Donbas – Volker
U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker has said that re-integration of areas of Donbas to Ukraine could happen if the Minsk agreements are implemented by Ukraine and Russia, although it is hard for Kyiv to implement all provisions of the agreement due to Russia's hostilities.
Ultimately, we want the residents of Donbas to live in safety, that the economy is restored there, that they have the opportunity of taking care of themselves and their families, that the state provides all the necessary services and that people return to normal life, he said in an interview with BBC Russian.
Asked whether he believes that this will happen during the presidency of U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Volker expressed the opinion that this can certainly happen, there is no doubt about that. However, it will require Russia to withdraw its troops and that the so-called self-proclaimed republics ceased to exist so that the normal work of the Ukrainian municipal structures would be restored, he said.
At the same time, according to him, the Ukrainian side will have to fulfill its part of the Minsk agreements. Ukrainians must fulfill their part, which implies respecting the ceasefire, although now it is difficult for them to implement it, because Russia is fighting on the other side of the front line; and the territories should be given a special status, as stated in the Minsk agreements, the U.S. special representative said.
He also expressed the hope that there would be a return to the issue of the UN peacekeeping mission, because it could become a necessary transit mechanism, allowing us to guarantee the implementation of the Minsk agreements by all sides.