Russia must comply with Minsk Protocol or sanctions will continue: Kerry

The United States warned Russia on Thursday that if it wants to ease US-European Union sanctions it must abide by regional ceasefire agreements it has signed.

United States Secretary of State John Kerry, who arrived in Kiev on Thursday to hold talks with Ukrainian officials, said Russia must comply with the Minsk Protocol it signed in 2014, EFE news reported.

Kerry spoke after a meeting with Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko.

The US official said if Russia failed to commit to reducing tensions in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region, where pro-Russian separatists have been fighting with Ukrainian Armed Forces since March 2014, then the sanctions “will remain in place”.

Poroshenko said Ukraine and the US agreed that “Russia and the pro-Russian rebels are responsible for the stagnation of the peace process”.

He said Ukrainians had upheld its side of the Minsk agreements.

The Minsk Protocol is a package of agreements signed on Sept 5, 2014, by Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany to implement a ceasefire in the contested regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.

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