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 Minsk process will be completed when Ukraine restores sovereignty without Crimea – Merkel

French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke at the news conference after the meeting in Paris.

Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN.

"When Ukraine restores sovereignty, but without the Crimea, this process (implementation of the Minsk agreement) will be completed," Merkel said.

Read also: Results of talks in Paris: Ukraine will be free of foreign troops' occupation and retake control of its borders

Hollande and Merkel said that light weapons and heavy artillery would be gradually withdrawn from the contested areas, which the warring parties have already begun to do. And the French president said that the process - and presumably the involvement of France and Germany - would only end once Ukraine has regained control over its borders, and after "the withdrawal of foreign forces," by which he clearly meant Russia's.

The Minsk deadline for a full return to Ukraine's sovereignty over its eastern provinces had originally been set for Dec. 31, 2015.

Ukrainian demands include free access throughout the conflict zone for the cease-fire monitors sent by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or the OSCE.; the withdrawal of Russian military forces, military equipment and volunteer fighters from Ukraine; and the restoration of Ukrainian control over its southern border with Russia.

 
 
 
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