Helsinki, 5 February 2022 (TDI): On Friday, Sauli Väinämö Niinistö, the President of Finland said that the Minsk Agreement should be reconsidered, as it is the only solution to the ongoing situation between Russia and Ukraine.

Finland is not a NATO member state but out of the European Union member states, it shares the longest external border with Russia. Sauli Väinämö Niinistö has supported the diplomatic negotiations with Russian President, Vladimir Putin throughout the years of crisis.

The President of Finland stated that the Minsk Agreement was brought up in his recent discussion with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In 2014 and 2015, Minsk Agreements were signed by Ukraine, France, Germany, and Russia.

In conclusion of his discussion with the Russian President, Niinistö said that, “a possible solution to the current situation could be the Minsk Agreement to be fulfilled or that there would be significant progress in its implementation.”

What is the Minsk Agreement?

In short, the Minsk Agreement has 13 main points;

  • Immediate and comprehensive ceasefire.
  • Withdrawal of heavy weapons by both sides.
  • Monitoring and verification by the Organisation For Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
  • In accordance with the Ukrainian Law, start a dialogue on interim self-government for the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
  • Amnesty for the people involved in the crisis.
  • Exchange for prisoners and hostages by both sides.
  • Humanitarian assistance.
  • Resumption of socio-economic ties.
  • Restoring full control of the state border by the Government of Ukraine.
  • Withdrawal of all foreign armed formations, military equipment, and mercenaries.
  • Constitutional reform in Ukraine including decentralization, with a specific focus on Donetsk, and Luhansk.
  • Elections in Donetsk and Luhansk on terms to be agreed with their representatives.
  • Intensifying the work of the Trilateral Contact Group including representatives of Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE.

According to President Niinistö, under the Minsk agreement, the Russian list of demands including the continuation of arms control and prevention of possible military risks could help to open the deadlock between Western countries and Russia in order to solve the crisis.