Putin says it will be necessary to “finally find a deal” to end the conflict in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin said on Friday that the agreement would be necessary “in the end” to end the conflict in Ukraine, while expressing doubts about the “trust” Moscow could give, he said, to its interlocutors.

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In the end, we’ll have to find an agreement. “I have said many times that we are ready for these arrangements, we are open, but this forces us to think about who we are dealing with,” the Russian president said on the sidelines of a regional summit in Kyrgyzstan.

Vladimir Putin was responding to recent statements by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said that the 2014 Minsk Agreement between Moscow and Kiev, signed under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, gave Ukraine time to strengthen itself in the event of an armed conflict with Russia.

The 2014 Minsk Agreement was an attempt to buy Ukraine time. She benefited from it, as we can see today. Ukraine 2014/2015 is not Ukraine today. (…) As we saw in early 2015, Putin could easily have crushed him at that time,” she told Die Zeit.

Vladimir Putin said he was “disappointed” by the remarks. Obviously, this raises the issue of trust. Confidence is almost zero, and after these statements, the question, of course, is: How do we reach an agreement? Can we get along with someone? And with what guarantees?

Maybe we should have started all this earlier (the attack in Ukraine). “But in reality we were counting on the possibility of reaching an agreement within the framework of the Minsk agreements,” he added.

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