3 Oct 2019 10:58

No Plan B for Minsk Agreements - Lavrov

MOSCOW. Oct 3 (Interfax) - The Minsk Agreements are the only way to settle the Donbas conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Channel One.

"There is no Plan B [for the Minsk Agreements]. The Minsk Agreements are fundamental to the process. Truth be told, the Steinmeier formula is a compromise compared to the original text of the Minsk Agreements approved by the UN Security Council. The initial deal included the adoption of a law on the special status and its ratification into the Constitution before elections," Lavrov said.

"It is only natural that a person who comes to the polls wants to know what powers exactly the elected candidate will hold. When the necessity of this particular sequence of actions was discussed, former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said at the Normandy summit he could not allow a special status because he did not know who might be elected. This is an absolutely confrontational, counterproductive and, most importantly, illegal approach," Lavrov said.

"Frank-Walter Steinmeier proposed his formula as a compromise when he was the German Foreign Minister. He suggested that the [special status] law be adopted and take temporary effect on the day of elections after polling stations close, and become permanent after the OSCE confirms in its final report that the elections were conducted impartially and fair," Lavrov said.

"So, there are absolutely no deviations from fundamental principles of the Minsk Agreements, including the amnesty, the special status formalized by the Constitution, the disengagement of forces and equipment, the full restoration of economic ties, and the lifting of the siege that totally contravenes the Minsk Agreements. All these provisions are invariable, because nothing will happen without them," he said.

As for the date of a possible Normandy-format summit, Lavrov said, "This is up to the presidents to decide."