News / Europe

    Germany, France Urge Ukraine and Russia to Implement Minsk Accord

    From left, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pose for a photo after their news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 23 2016.
    From left, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pose for a photo after their news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 23 2016.
    VOA News

    Germany and France are urging Ukraine to fight corruption and pass legislation on an election in the pro-Russian east, as required by the cease-fire agreement, to help stem violence in eastern Ukraine.

    Speaking Tuesday in Kyiv with his French and Ukrainian counterparts, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said there have been many violations of the ceasefire and the electoral law is being "postponed" by Ukraine, undermining the credibility of the Minsk process.

    "Not just the three foreign ministers, but also the people in Ukraine, in Europe and in the world are waiting for progress to be made," Steinmeier said. "Progress in the area of security, we cannot accept that the agreed cease-fire is broken again and again. ... We need this progress for the people in Ukraine, but we also need this progress for the credibility of the Minsk process itself."

    March meeting

    The foreign ministers of Ukraine, France, Germany and Russia are scheduled to meet in Paris in March.

    The progress of that meeting would depend on Ukraine and Russia making "constructive, concrete commitments," said French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

    "So without constructive and concrete engagement -- I repeat, in the faith of Ukraine and of Russia -- on the elections, and I say it, on the particular status of this territory, and our interlocutors have admitted this in principle, then France and Germany will lose their usefulness as mediators, we are not decision-makers, we are mediators," Ayrault said.

    But Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that Ukraine has been committed to implement the Minsk accord in its entirety and accused Russia of diverging from the original document.

    'Committed' to Minsk accord

    "If we fully implement the Minsk agreement, as it was written, with all details, then there is future for Donbas," Klimkin said. "We are committed to the Minsk (agreement), but not to its Russian interpretation where Donbas' integration with Ukraine will keep it under semi-Russian influence and which will be integrated in a way that would destabilize the whole Ukraine."

    The France- and Germany-mediated Minsk cease-fire accord -- as agreed to a year ago by Ukraine, Russia, and separatist rebels -- has not reached its stated goals, since fighting between government troops and pro-Russian forces in the Donbas region continue and local elections have not been held.

    Political tension within Ukraine’s ruling coalition is impeding reform efforts and has been a contributing factor in the persisting conflict in eastern Ukraine which has claimed more than 9,000 lives since April 2014, when it started.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    February 23, 2016 1:48 PM
    Putin will not back down one inch from his criminal activities in Ukraine. As far as he is concerned, Ukraine is Russia's property. Ukrainian oligarchs and politicians had better be careful. The US is about fed up with their corruption and anti-democratic way of controlling their country. It will not support this indefinitely. They'd better shape up and make genuine changes for the better or sooner or later they can face the Kremlin as Ukraine is not of strategic importance to the US.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora