The Ukrainian government may start the real implementation of the February 2015 Minsk agreements already the next year, leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko said on Thursday.




“I believe the phase-by-phase implementation of the Minsk agreements in line with the road map approved by the Normandy Four and agreed with us may already begin in 2017,” Zakharchenko said in an interview with the Donetsk News Agency.


Zakharchenko explained that until now the Ukrainian government has hampered the Minsk deal’s implementation as the fulfillment of political agreements could mean the collapse of the Kiev regime. In the future, the situation could be influenced by several factors, including the pressure from the Normandy Four group and a possible change in the US foreign policy, he added.


The representatives of Moscow, Paris and Berlin have repeatedly stated that there is no alternative to the Minsk format of talks for settling the crisis in Donbass. Next year, the first consultations of the Contact Group in the Belarusian capital are due to be held on January 16.