Extending implementation of Minsk peace deal for Ukraine depends only on its sides’ political agreements – source

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

MOSCOW. Oct 16 (Interfax) – A possible decision to extend the implementation of the Minsk peace agreements for Ukraine into 2016 will not require any specific judicial procedure, a Russian diplomatic source told Interfax.

“The Package of Measures is not an international treaty. Rather, it is a political agreement. And prolonging [the implementation of] its provisions into next year is not a prerogative of international law. Rather, it is the political will of the sides reaching this agreement,” he said.

The source offered his response to a question about whether or not any specific judicial procedure may be required to prolong the ‘Minsk-2’ peace deal.

In February 2015, in the Belarusian capital Minsk the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine held marathon talks, which continued for almost 24 hours and helped agree upon the Package of Measures to implement the September 2014 Minsk agreements and the ‘Normandy Four’ leaders’ declaration in support of these accords.

In particular, the Package of Measures gives the sides until the end of 2015 to complete the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Nevertheless, recently representatives of the ‘Normandy Four’ countries at different levels have not ruled out the possibility of extending the validity period of the Minsk accords into 2016.