Ex-Chancellor’s statement on Minsk agreements is a ‘lesson’ for Belgrade, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic says
Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent comments on the 2014-2015 Minsk agreements have cast a new light on the Ukrainian conflict, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Saturday. Merkel said kyiv used the ceasefire to rearm its troops.
Peace agreements brokered by Germany and France eight years ago paved the way for the peaceful reintegration of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) into Ukraine. However, they were never implemented because the Ukrainian government argued over the interpretation of the agreements.
Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has finally admitted that Kyiv’s main intention is to use the ceasefire to rebuild its military and economy. Merkel appeared to confirm this in an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit on Wednesday, saying that by signing the deals Ukraine had won. “precious time” gather a stronger army.
“We have witnessed a historically important statement by Angela Merkel. I am surprised and I am still checking if it is possible that she said such a thing”, Vucic told local media. “She’s a woman I really like, but to me that statement is almost unbelievable.”
The words of the former chancellor “shed a whole new light” about the history of the conflict, Vucic said. “It can’t change the fact of who attacked who, but it changes a lot in terms of facts and relationships within what’s been going on since 2014…it’s a clear sign to me that [they] cannot be trusted.
“It’s a lesson for us” Vucic added that his country now faces heightened tensions in Kosovo, the breakaway region of Serbia that the majority of EU and NATO members recognize as an independent state.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he was disappointed by Merkel’s comments that “Nobody intended to respect any part of the Minsk agreements.”
Earlier, Putin cited Kiev’s failure to abide by the Minsk Accords as one of the reasons Moscow recognized the independence of the two Donbas republics on February 21, three days before launching its military operation in Ukraine. . The DPR and LPR, along with two other former Ukrainian territories, became parts of Russia after referendums in late September.
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