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Kiev says Ukrainian, French, German leaders laid down "red lines" for Russia

August 25, 2015, 19:08 UTC+3 KIEV
Russia's crossing the "red lines" could prompt a resolute reaction from the international community which refers "not only to sanctions"
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© Mikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian president's press service/TASS

KIEV, August 25. /TASS/. Talks between leaders of Germany, France and Ukraine in Berlin on Monday focused on "red lines" Russia must not cross, a senior Ukrainian administration official said on Tuesday.

"It is very important that we have discussed red lines that, if crossed, could prompt a resolute reaction from the international community, including the European Union, and this refers not only to sanctions," Konstantin Yeliseyev, deputy head of Ukraine's presidential administration, told a news briefing in Kiev.

Yeliseyev did not specify what kind of "red lines" had been set. "This information is not yet in the public domain," he said, noting however that "one of these lines" was "holding fake elections" in east Ukraine’s self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Russia "should exert pressure" on leaders of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics so that "they prevent or cancel such elections", Yeliseyev said. If local elections take place, he added, "they will not be recognized, posing a serious threat to the Minsk process."

Local elections in east Ukraine's Donbas and constitutional reform are key elements of the February 12 comprehensive action plan to fulfil the Minsk accords worked out by leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France in the search for peace in the embattled region.

The deal, announced after more than 16 hours of discussions between Vladimir Putin, Petro Poroshenko, Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel in the Belarusian capital, envisaged immediate and full bilateral ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and people’s militia starting from February 15.

This was to be followed by withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of military engagement by at least 15 kilometres (9 miles), prisoner release and agreement for international observers to monitor the truce.

Among the terms of the deal were also a commitment to grant wider self-rule to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and calls for talks on their long-term status.

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