BRUSSELS (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 11th December, 2019) The European Council will review the current state of the implementation of the Minsk agreements during its Thursday meeting, the council's President Charles Michel said on Tuesday.
The council, composed of the European Union countries' leaders, will have to make a decision regarding the prolongation of the economic sanctions against Russia. The decision is made based on a report on the implementation of the Minsk agreements presented by leaders of France and Germany.
"The first day will conclude with a debrief on the implementation of the Minsk Agreement along with short conclusions on WTO [World Trade Organization], Africa and Turkey," Michel said in a statement.
Relations between Russia and EU countries have been strained due to the Ukrainian crisis, the reunification of Crimea with Russia, and the Donbas conflict. The European Union, together with the United States, introduced sanctions against Russia, to which Russia responded with its counter-sanctions. Some EU countries have recently begun questioning the effectiveness of sanctions and started looking for different solutions to problems between Russia and the European Union.
The Minsk agreements include the Minsk Protocol signed by Russia and Ukraine on September 5 of 2014 under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, followed by another agreement on September 19, and the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements (known as Minsk II), agreed upon by Russia, France, Germany, Ukraine on February 12 of 2015. The agreements outline steps for settling the situation in Donbas, such as the introduction of a ceasefire, prisoner exchange, withdrawal of troops.