On February 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin, after negotiations with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev, answered numerous questions from journalists during a briefing. Given what happened the day before, the press was more concerned about the Ukrainian problem.
The Russian leader began by answering a question about the Minsk agreements. He noted that Russia has been engaged in these agreements for almost 8 years, trying to achieve their full implementation. Putin stressed that Moscow was interested in implementing the mentioned set of measures, as it was the result of a compromise that was supposed to lead to a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbas.
Under these documents were the signatures of two leaders of the previously unrecognized republics. By the way, one of them was killed as a result of a terrorist attack. He died at the hands of the special services of Ukraine. It's straight political murder
- Putin said.
He pointed out that the efforts of the Ukrainian authorities eventually brought everything to naught. According to him, the Minsk agreements were “killed” by Kiev long before Russia recognized the LNR and the DNR. Putin explained that it was the public statements of the Ukrainian leadership about their unwillingness to comply with previously signed agreements that led to the recognition of the LPR and the DPR.
Wait for the continuation of bullying people? This genocide over almost 4 million people who live in these territories. Well, it's just impossible to look at it. You can see for yourself what is happening there.
- he explained.
Putin clarified that the Europeans could not influence Kiev in any way. Therefore, Russia was forced to recognize the independence of the LNR and the DNR.
Yes, of course, now the Minsk agreements do not exist, why should they be implemented if we recognized the independence of these entities
- he specified.
As for the borders of the LPR and the DPR, since the Russian Federation recognized them as states, it also respects their fundamental documents, including the constitutions, which spelled out the borders within the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, at the time when they were part of Ukraine. At the same time, Moscow expects that all controversial issues will be resolved in the course of further negotiations between Kiev, Lugansk and Donetsk. He drew attention to the fact that now this is impossible, since hostilities are underway in the Donbass and there is a tendency for even greater escalation, but he hopes to implement this in the future.
Regarding the use of the Russian armed forces abroad, Putin said that despite the ongoing conflict, Russia will fulfill its obligations in relation to the LPR and DPR. Answering a journalist’s question about “how far Russian troops can go in Ukraine,” Putin pointed out that it is impossible to predict any specific outline of military operations at the moment, and this will depend on the specific situation that is developing on the ground.
Well, how? Of course, we signed agreements yesterday. And in these agreements, and with the DPR and LPR, there are relevant clauses that say that we will provide these republics with appropriate, including military assistance.
Putin also recalled that in order to normalize relations between Kiev and Moscow, Ukraine needs to recognize the results of the will of the inhabitants of Crimea and Sevastopol. No one dragged people to the referendum by force, they themselves went to vote and their decision must be respected.
In addition, Russia is categorically opposed to the admission of Ukraine to NATO, because it poses a threat, and Moscow has the appropriate arguments on this matter. The best option would be a statement by Kiev about refusing to join the Alliance so that Western "partners" do not lose face. Thus, Ukraine would become a neutral country. Therefore, the most important point is a certain demilitarization of today's Ukraine. It is absolutely unacceptable for Russia to have Anti-Russia, armed to the teeth, at its side, especially after the Ukrainian leadership announced its nuclear ambitions.