Interfax: U.S. should pressure Ukraine into fulfilling Minsk accords – French ambassador to Russia

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

MOSCOW. Aug 1 (Interfax) – France and Russia have urged the United States to put pressure on the Ukrainian authorities in order to make them honor their commitments as part of the Minsk peace agreements for Ukraine, French Ambassador to Moscow Jean-Maurice Ripert has said.

“Like us, Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Lavrov has been holding talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and we have been insisting that the American side should put pressure on Kyiv in terms of the need for Ukraine to fulfill its obligations. And this interaction has been positive,” he said in an interview with Interfax.

The ambassador also noted that the sub-groups within the trilateral Contact Group for Ukraine would continue their negotiations through the summer, and the next ‘Normandy format’ meeting should not be expected until September.

“The ‘Normandy format’ gathers far more frequently at the diplomatic level than at the level of heads of state. As of today, a ministerial meeting within the ‘Normandy format’ is not expected to take place in the near future, but the working groups will continue to meet through the summer, especially concerning the political settlement issue. And the political working sub-group has a very busy agenda. That is why, obviously, the next session in the ‘Normandy format’ will be held in September, but I do not know as of yet at what level,” the French diplomat said.