MOSCOW. It takes political will to settle the Ukrainian crisis and Kiev apparently lacks it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Italy’ Limes monthly magazine. READ ALSO Ukraine’s parliament avoids implementation of Minsk agreements


“Our contacts with foreign partners prove that even having different views on the situation in that country we share the idea that the crisis can be resolved only peacefully, through unconditional implementation of the Minsk agreements of February 12, 2015,” he said. “The cornerstone of success is settling most vital issues in a direct dialogue between Kiev and Donbass.”


“It is important that the Ukrainians, being guided by the agreements reached in Minsk, begin to look for mutually acceptable options for settling the existing problems and controversies. And it takes political will, whereas the Ukrainian side apparently lacks it,” Lavrov said.


“The process of settlement is obstructed by the unwillingness of the current Kiev authorities to speak with the Southeast,” the Russian top diplomat noted. “Such an approach undermines common efforts within the Normandy format [that involves Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine – TASS]. We hope our German and French partners will demand more persistently that Kiev scrupulously observe its liabilities under the Minsk accords.”


Ukrainian crisis reflects systemic problems in European affairs


According to Lavrov, the Ukrainian crisis is rooted in the problems in the relations between the East and the West.


“The Ukrainian crisis is not a random event but a manifestation of systemic problems that have piled up in the European affairs and international relations in general in the past twenty years,” he said. READ ALSO Russian lawmaker hails French TV film about Ukraine’s Maidan


“An unprecedented possibility to begin, after the end of the Cold War, building a Europe without division lines and relying on the principles of indivisibility, security and broad cooperation has been lost,” the Russian top diplomat said. “Despite our persistent calls and top-level liabilities undertaken within the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Russia-NATO Council to work on the creation of a community of security, the course towards unrestrained eastwards expansion of the geopolitical space controlled by Euro-Atlantic structures has won the upper hand in the West.”


The Russian foreign minister drew attention to the fact that “the practice of interference into domestic affairs, of imposing, including by force, recipes of reforms on other nations has been widely used on the European continent.”


“All this problems have been reflected in the situation in Ukraine,” he stressed.


“We have warned more than once about counter-productivity of attempts to force Kiev into an artificial choice – ‘either with us or against us,’ a choice between development of cooperation in the East or in the West,” Lavrov said. “Regrettably, we have not been heeded. The February 2014 state coup entailed a collapse of Ukrainian statehood and the ultra-nationalists who came to power unleashed a fratricidal war and drove the country to the brink of a split.”