Q. During his end-of-year press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the remarks by his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, regarding the possibility of revising the Minsk Agreements were alarming. He said that “Poroshenko and the French and German heads of state grabbed me by the throat, insisting on the signatures of the representatives of the LNR and the DNR in the context of the Minsk Agreements.” According to him, the crux of the matter is that Kiev has no desire to resolve the crisis through a dialogue with the people. The president called for efforts to engage in a direct dialogue with the Donbas and to return to the consultations provided for under the agreements. He welcomed the fact that the law on the special status of the Donbas had been extended. He described the meetings in the Normandy format as “helpful.” Could you comment on these remarks?
A. As our heads of state and government reaffirmed during the summit in Paris on December 9, the Minsk Agreements remain the basis for the work carried out in the Normandy format. Our countries are committed to the full implementation of these agreements.
We hope that the positive momentum witnessed during the summit will continue so that substantial progress on the ground and on the political front can be achieved, notably in the run-up to the next summit scheduled to take place in four months.