Vladimir Putin said on Friday that an agreement was needed “eventually” to end the conflict in Ukraine, while expressing doubts about the “trust” Moscow could give its interlocutors, according to him.
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“In the end, we will have to find an agreement. I have already said many times that we are ready for these arrangements, we are open, but this makes us think about who we are dealing with,” the Russian president said during a regional summit in Kyrgyzstan.
Vladimir Putin was responding to former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent comments that the 2014 Minsk agreement between Moscow and Kiev, signed under the auspices of the OSCE, had given Ukraine time to strengthen itself in an armed conflict with Russia.
“The 2014 Minsk agreement was an attempt to give Ukraine time. She took advantage of it as we see today. The Ukraine of 2014/2015 is not the Ukraine of today. (…) As we saw at the beginning of 2015, Putin could easily crush him at that time,” she told Die Zeit newspaper.
Vladimir Putin said he was “disappointed” by the comments. “This obviously raises the issue of trust. And trust is almost at zero, and the question after such statements, of course, is: How do we find agreement? And can we get along with anyone? And with what guarantees?
“Maybe we should have started all this (the attack in Ukraine) earlier. But we actually calculated the possibility of finding an agreement within the framework of the Minsk agreements,” he added.