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Prystayko says Ukraine may withdraw from Minsk agreements

A meeting in the Normandy format is expected to add clarity to their prospects.

Prystayko says Ukraine may withdraw from Minsk agreements
Vadym Prystayko
Photo: Max Levin

Foreign Minister Vadym Prystayko has said that Ukraine may step out of the Minsk agreements in the absence of progress in a peaceful settlement.

"This is a very unpopular statement and our Western partners may not like it again. But for us, Minsk is not self a goal in itself. The goal in itself is our survival as a nation. And if we see that they do not work, and this leads us to a constant deferral of the endless process, sooner or later a decision will be made to withdraw from the Minsk process," he said in an interview with the BBC.

He suggested that the prospects for the Minsk agreements will become clear at the upcoming summit of the Normandy Four leaders.

"If this meeting, which will take place, shows a lack of progress, it will certainly cast doubt on the possibility of achieving peace in the Minsk process. When we return, it will be the right time to ask us about it. And if we don’t bring anything, it would be logical to ask how much we still need this Minsk," Prystayko said.

Answering the question whether Kyiv has an alternative to the Minsk agreements, the foreign minister noted that there are several possible options.

"For example, if not Minsk, then we need to request a peacemaking or rather peacekeeping mission," Prystayko said.

"... And it is possible to upgrade Minsk to a new format. That is, if we see that something is not working, then we may need to seek the help of a third force. Although this has been said since 2015, Russia as a member of the UN Security Council has prevented such a mission. Moreover, they suggested placing peacekeepers along the line of contact, as you may remember. This does not suit us. But a compromise option - for example, peacekeepers on the line between Ukraine and Russia - would work for us," he added.

In the summer, Zelenskyy's team said that it was going to implement the Minsk agreements in full.

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