Prystaiko not ruling out Ukraine's withdrawal from Minsk agreements

Prystaiko not ruling out Ukraine's withdrawal from Minsk agreements

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko has said that Ukraine might withdraw from the Minsk agreements if the process is delayed and there is no progress in their implementation by all parties.

He stated this in an interview with BBC Ukrainian.

"Yes, it [Ukraine's withdrawal from the Minsk agreements] is possible if we see that this process is going on endlessly. This is a very unpopular statement and probably will not please our Western partners again. [...] If we see that they [the agreements] do not work and this leads us to permanently delaying the endless process, then sooner or later the decision will be made to quit the Minsk process," Prystaiko said.

At the same time, he noted that withdrawal from the Minsk agreements is a very difficult political decision.

As for the deadline when such a decision could be made, Prystaiko stressed that it was not spelled out clearly, but if the upcoming Normandy Four summit shows no progress, it will undoubtedly call into question the possibility of peace in the Minsk process.

"When we come back [from the Normandy talks], then it will be right to ask us about it. If we do not bring anything, then it will be logical to ask how much we still need these Minsk agreements," Prystaiko said.

He agreed that this could lead to the lifting of sanctions against Russia, adding that "this is the price of the Minsk agreements."

"But I ask you not to forget that sanctions can be lifted even without [Ukraine] withdrawing from the Minsk agreements. We can implement the Minsk agreements for the rest of our lives and for the rest of our grandchildren's lives, but sanctions can be lifted every six months. There's a difficult balancing act between how to understand and feel the moods, and whether sanctions can still play a deterrent role, whether we still need to withdraw from the Minsk agreements and seek peace in some other way. This is the responsibility of the head of state and the current government and, by the way, society as a whole," Prystaiko said.


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