12:35 Oct. 6, 2016
Ukraine's Foreign Minister says "Minsk is simple and easy, if you want to implement it"
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has again called on Russia to leave Donbas and make it possible to establish sustainable security in the war-ravaged eastern region of Ukraine.
He said Western sanctions on Moscow should remain in place until Russia is "literally out of Ukraine."
Allowing Russia to attack an independent country would be like "opening Pandora's box," Klimkin stressed.
In an attempt to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, both Kyiv and Russian-backed separatists from Donetsk and Luhansk signed in February 2015 the peace agreement known as the Minsk II. Today, key aspects of the deal, such as the withdrawal of heavy weapons and the exchange of prisoners, have yet to be implemented.
But Klimkin told DW's Tim Sebastian that these failures do not mean the agreement is dead, adding that "Minsk is simple and easy, if you want to implement it."
"We have fundamental differences with Russia on how we understand Minsk," Klimkin added. "Russia wants to legalize [a] Russian protectorate in Donbas."
After Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea, heavily armed separatists, backed by Moscow took over parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine. In 2014, they declared themselves independent republics. Since then about 10,000 people have been killed in the fighting.
Kyiv and some Western countries have said Russian mercenaries and regular troops actively support the separatists, the charge Moscow is vehemently denying.
While the sound of heavy artillery has largely subsided in eastern Ukraine, a solid ceasefire is not yet in sight.