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No alternative to Minsk agreements — Putin

Russian President drew attention to Kiev’s controversial position

MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he is convinced that there is no alternative to the Minsk agreements.

"As for the Minsk agreements - whether they are alive, whether they have any perspective or not, I think that there is simply no alternative," he stressed at a news conference after talks with his visiting French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron.

Putin drew attention to Kiev’s controversial position. "First they say they will observe [the agreements], then they say it will ruin their country," he said. "The current [Ukrainian] president (Vladimir Zelensky - TASS) has recently said he is comfortable with neither of the provisions of these Minsk accords. But like it or lump it, they must be implemented. There is no escaping it."

Ukraine doesn’t want to speak directly with the Donbass republics, he said, adding that under the Minsk accords certain issues are to be discussed and agreed with representatives of these territories. "They ate to be discussed and agreed with them. There is no other way to work. So, it is necessary to take courage and recognize what is committed to paper, stop calling white black and black white and begin to work," Putin stressed.

He recalled that during the election campaign the current Ukrainian leader promised to resolve the Donbass problem by peaceful means. "I hope very much that in the long run it will be done when they ultimately see that there is no other way," he added.