If Ukraine does not intend to follow the Minsk agreements of its own free will, it must be forced to do so, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the air of the TV channel Russia 1.
"If it [Ukraine] is left alone, with its conscience, of course, it will not do anything. It must be forced, this is why the Normandy format was created, but Berlin and Paris are still manipulating their obligations," Lavrov said.
The initial part of Minsk agreements on the settlement of the conflict in the Donbass was approved in September 2014 by a trilateral contact group consisting of representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) with the participation of the heads of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. In 2015, the second part Minsk agreements was signed during the talks of the leaders of the Normandy Four countries (Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France). It contained clauses on a ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the demarcation line, the adoption of legislation on the special status of the Donbas, which should be followed by the restoration of Kyiv's control over the entire border of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics and local elections.
Since then, the parties have repeatedly accused each other of not fulfilling the terms of the agreement.
There have been multiple reports in the media about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to the reports, Russia could launch military offensive early next year.
Russian authorities have denied such reports. Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov claimed that Moscow is not preparing for aggression against Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin, commenting on these reports, called them alarmist.
Ukraine will be one of the main topics of Putin's upcoming talks with US President Joe Biden on December 7. On December 2, Lavrov met with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. During their talks, the parties discussed the situation in Ukraine and the upcoming meeting between Putin and Biden.