Kremlin chief of staff sees little progress in implementation of Minsk agreements on Ukraine

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Sochi. Oct 22 (Interfax) – Moscow is not inclined at the moment to make optimistic forecasts regarding the developments in settling the conflict in Ukraine, as the Minsk agreements have yet to be fulfilled, and Kyiv needs to arrange contacts with Donetsk and Luhansk representatives, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov says.

“I would be cautious about making such optimistic forecasts. Surely, all parties involved in the conflict are declaring their commitment to the Minsk agreements in words. But as regards their implementation, I can’t see much of progress so far,” Ivanov told journalists on the sidelines of the Valdai International Discussion Club.

“I think there’ll be no progress until the Ukrainian leadership realizes the obvious thing, that is, the need to arrange contacts with Donetsk and Luhansk. Because, without talking to a partner, no progress can be achieved, no matter how Germany, France, or Russia might want this. After all, we can’t hold talks for them. But what is stipulated by the Minsk [agreements] needs to be fulfilled. We hope the Ukrainian leadership will follow the letter of the Minsk agreements,” Ivanov said.

He said none of the forum’s participants had asked him questions about Crimea this year, unlike a year ago.

[featured image is file photo]