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'Critical that Russia, Ukraine separatists honour ceasefire'

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  14 May 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Antalya (Turkey), May 13: US Secretary of State John Kerry told TO foreign ministers on Wednesday that it is a “critical moment” in the eastern Ukraine crisis for both Russia and separatists to fully comply with the Minsk peace accords. “I think there was strong agreement among all of the TO members that this is a critical moment for action by Russia, by the separatists, to live up to the Minsk agreement,” Kerry confirmed following an informal breakfast meeting with TO foreign ministers on Wednesday, the beginning of a two-day meeting in Antalya, Turkey. The chief US diplomat said he also briefed his TO counterparts about his meetings on Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Russian resort city of Sochi.

It is also a “critical” time for observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to be given access to conflict areas in eastern Ukraine, Kerry added.

While TO allies prefer “not to have sanctions” against Russia, Kerry explained that sanctions “will be there in an effort to try to secure the peace that everybody wants in Ukraine”. Kerry expressed the urgency required in implementing the Minsk agreements, acknowledging that a process of reforms and elections would be necessary.

On his part, TO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also stressed that the Minsk peace accords must be fully implemented, that the ceasefire must be respected, and heavy weapons must be withdrawn from eastern Ukraine. (IANS)

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