Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin says that meeting Russia's demands for lifting sanctions in the Council of Europe will destroy the Minsk agreements aimed at resolving an armed conflict in Donbas, eastern Ukraine.
The minister told this to journalists in Brussels following a meeting of foreign ministers of EU member states and Eastern Partnership countries, chaired by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.
In particular, Klimkin said that on May 12, there was a question from the European side regarding the Council of Europe and Russia's further participation in this organization.
In this regard, Klimkin noted that meeting Russia's demands for the renewal of its rights in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe without fulfilling the prerequisites for restoring Ukraine's territorial integrity will lead to a breakdown of the Minsk agreements.
"I've honestly told them if you move to where several countries were willing to go [to satisfy Russia's demands for renewing its rights in PACE without fulfilling the prerequisites], I will make a statement the same day: First, 'we don't have Minsk [accords], and secondly, it was 'killed' not only by Moscow, but you are also 'killing' it consistently," the minister noted.
The official was also asked what is the relationship between the Minsk agreements and the Council of Europe.
Klimkin says everyone in the EU realize that after Russia started issuing passports to Ukrainians, if "there is any step that will be considered as a step towards Russia in the Council of Europe... then in general all the logic of what we did, will be totally destroyed."
At the same time, he says that there are parliamentarians in Europe who are trying to lobby for Russia.
Klimkin added that his position had been heard and noted, in particular, by German, French and Dutch colleagues.
As UNIAN reported earlier, at the April session in 2014, PACE deprived the Russian delegation of the voting right and excluded its representatives from all governing bodies for the illegal annexation of Crimea.
Since then, the Russian Federation has in fact boycotted the Assembly's meetings and demanded full restoration of its rights.
In June 2017, Russia refused to pay CoE membership fees until her delegation`s powers in PACE were restored.
In January 2018, the campaign was launched promoting the return of the Russian delegation to the PACE.