MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. Revision of the Minsk Accords may bring about a stalemate situation in the east of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the customary year-end news conference when asked about the outlook for a settlement in Donbass and his attitude to Kiev’s latest statements on this score.
"There is nothing but the Minsk Accords," Putin said. "I find President Vladimir Zelensky’s statements following his departure from Paris that the Minsk Accords can be revised very worrisome."
He warned that if the existing agreements begin to be revised, "the situation may end up in a stalemate."
Putin recalled that the law on the special status for Donbass, prolonged by the Ukrainian parliament just recently, must become permanent and imbued in the Ukrainian Constitution.
"But neither the current leaders of Ukraine nor the previous ones wish to do that," Putin said. "There must be a direct dialogue with Donbass. But there is none."
He remarked that there was not enough clarity regarding the nature of changes concerning decentralization that had been introduced to Ukrainian legislation just recently.
"Is it a substitute for the Minsk Accords? Or for the law on the special status? If this involves Donbass, then it must be agreed with the region," Putin said.
The Russian leader believes it is expedient to go ahead with efforts on the platform of the Normandy Quartet. He warned that the Quartet’s summit meeting scheduled for April will be relevant if there are positive changes. Putin agreed that some changes were already in sight, such as the prolongation of the special status law and the reduction in the number of bombardments.
"The basis for a settlement is still there," he said.
But some problems remain, too, Putin said. For instance, Kiev is reluctant to go ahead with the pullback of forces along the whole disengagement line in Donbass.
"All this requires discussion. Normandy Quartet talks are expedient," he said.