'Implementation of Minsk Agreements to start by year end'

Kiev: US Secretary of State John Kerry has said the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements to resolve the military conflict in eastern Ukraine may start before the end of this year. At a joint news briefing with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev, Kerry on Thursday said he had certain optimistic expectations and was sure that, within US President Barack Obama's term of office which will run out in January 2017, there is a good chance the Minsk Agreements will be implemented. In order to peacefully settle the conflict in eastern Ukraine, concerned parties signed a ceasefire agreement in Minsk in September 2014 and then in February 2015, with representatives from Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany signed another agreement in the Ukrainian capital, Xinhua news agency reported. The US Secretary of State said Ukraine had made significant efforts to implement the Minsk agreements, for example, the country has initiated the process of granting special status to the independence-seeking Ukrainian region of Donbass and issued amnesties there. The agreements can be implemented in a way in which all parties have guarantees that their needs are respected, Kerry said. Ukraine has a strong commitment to the Minsk agreements, Poroshenko said, adding "ensuring a stable and comprehensive security" in the region is the precondition to effectively resolve the problem in Donbass. Kerry arrived in Ukraine on Thursday afternoon on the eve of the NATO summit, which will take place in Warsaw on July 8-9.