Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Photo/REUTERS
MOSCOW – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Ukraine’s supporters in the West were the ones undermining the country’s territorial integrity by effectively reneging on the Minsk agreements.
The diplomat added that although recently there had been talk about possible negotiations from Western countries, Moscow did not yet see readiness for serious dialogue.
In an interview with TASS published on Thursday (28/9/2023), Lavrov speculated that Kiev’s supporters might seek a pause of several months to supply more weapons to Ukraine.
He argues this pattern was first attempted in 2014-2015 when France and Germany brokered the Minsk 1 and Minsk 2 agreements, thereby ending the standoff between Ukrainian government forces and the independence-proclaimed Donbass Republic.
But Ukraine never kept its promise, as Berlin and Paris were fully aware Kiev had no such intentions from the start, according to Lavrov, citing admissions last year made by former French President Francois Hollande, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko.
According to Lavrov, the West is using the agreement as a mere tactic to buy time and strengthen Ukraine’s military.
“If they comply with the Minsk agreements, Ukraine’s territorial integrity will be guaranteed,” stressed the Russian diplomat.
He said that was the essence of the agreement, which also called for special status for the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
Lavrov went on to say that Russia was ready to negotiate with Ukraine last April, but that London and Washington had intervened.