MOSCOW, March 7. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he is appalled by the death of people from both parties to the Donbass conflict, which must be stopped "as soon as possible."
In an interview included in Russian journalist Vladimir Solovyov’s documentary dubbed World Order 2018, Putin reiterated that there were no Russian troops in Ukraine. "There is a significant amount of weapons circulating there [in Donbass] and when asked where they come from, I always say that if one party gets something, the other party also has chances," the Russian leader said.
According to Putin, during the Normandy Quartet talks he is sometimes told that Ukrainian military servicemen are killed in Donbass with Russian-made munitions. "It is a totally terrible thing. Each time I think about it I get overwhelmed because in fact, I believe everyone there to be our people. But I have a question - what kind of munitions kill civilians in Donbass?" the Russian president said, emphasizing the need to contemplate ways to put an end to the conflict "and restore peace as soon as possible."
Putin said he could not understand Kiev’s reasons for "completely isolating" Donbass as Ukraine was actually "cutting this territory off." The Russian leader also said that Kiev had not yet signed an amnesty law and a law providing a special status to Donbass, though it had managed to adopt a law on de-occupation, which failed to mention the Minsk Agreements. "They are doing it with their own hands, which is incredible. I just don’t understand why," the Russian president noted.
Putin pointed out that Russia had initially supported the initiative to provide weapons to representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) working in Donbass but the organization had declined to do that. At the same time, Moscow welcomed the idea to deploy a United Nations mission to the region and even submitted a draft resolution. "But it was not enough for Kiev and it rejected all the initiatives. It is very difficult to maintain dialogue, though there is no other way but to discuss the issue and search for solutions," Putin concluded.