Moscow to oppose revision of Minsk agreements on Ukraine: Russian FM

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks at a press conference in Kuwait City, capital of Kuwait, on March 6, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Russia will resist possible attempts to revise the Minsk agreements on Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

"There is a feeling that the Ukrainian side calls for convening the Normandy summit in order to revise the agreements of the previous meetings of the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France," Lavrov told reporters after a meeting of foreign ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat.

"It will be just a blow to the reputation of the Normandy Four, and we will do everything to prevent this," he said, according to a video footage posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry's Facebook account.

The Minsk agreements, reached in September 2014 and February 2015 respectively, are designed to peacefully end the conflict starting in April 2014 in Ukraine's Donbass region, which has left more than 13,000 dead.

The documents envisage a ceasefire, a withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the demarcation line, a prisoner exchange and local elections, among other measures.

The Trilateral Contact Group on the peaceful settlement of the Donbass situation, including diplomats from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe agreed last week on the Steinmeier Formula, a plan named after incumbent German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The implementation of the plan, envisaging elections in eastern Ukraine and granting the rebel region temporary special status, will require changes in Ukraine's legislation.

The plan has yet to be firmed up through a possible meeting by the leaders of the Normandy Four -- France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia.

On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on telephone the prospects for convening the Normandy Four summit. Enditem

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