MOSCOW, December 31. /TASS/. The West has been systematically deceiving Russia since the end of the Cold War in order to weaken it geopolitically, Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs, said, comme nting on former French President Francois Hollande's statement about the Minsk agreements being an attempt to buy Kiev some time.
"Former French President Francois Hollande confirmed former German Chancellor Angela Merkel's words that the Minsk agreements were needed to give Kiev a break and prepare the Ukrainian army... He obviously forgot to add something about the next packages of sanctions, imposed on Russia for ‘failing’ to implement the Minsk agreements, which for the other signatories from the beginning were nothing a bluff," he wrote on his Telegram channel.
"Russia has been systematically deceived since the end of the Cold War. The NATO advance eastward, the series of revolutions in the post-Soviet republics, the creation of an anti-Russian bridgehead out of Ukraine, all os this was done with one goal: to geopolitically weaken our country. The exchange rate of the American and European promises has not just dropped to zero, it has bottomed out," Slutsky added.
As the lawmaker noted, such statements by Western leaders "allows to stop further explainations of the reasons and goals of the special military operation in Ukraine." In his opinion, Russia's relations with the West "will never be the same." "The price of all this abomination is the lives of the civilian population of Donbass, which the Ukrainian junta continued to exterminate with the tacit consent of the 'guarantors' of the so-called peace process. All they could guarantee, as it turned out, was hypocrisy and neocolonialism. An empire of lies," Slutsky summarized.
On Friday, Hollande, who was involved in negotiating the 2015 Minsk agreements, confirmed former German Chancellor Angela Merkel's words that these agreements were needed to give Kiev a break and ensure that the Ukrainian army was ready for a new conflict. According to former LPR envoy to Moscow Rodion Miroshnik, France was also not going to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2202, which approved the 2015 Minsk agreements, even though the country's permanent representative to the Council voted for it.
Earlier in December, in an interview with the German weekly Die Zeit, Merkel said the Minsk agreements were an attempt to give Ukraine time to become stronger. She argued that it was clear to everyone that the conflict was frozen and the problem remained unresolved, but in this way Ukraine gained invaluable time. She expressed doubts that at that time the NATO countries were able to provide support for Kiev to the extent that they do now.
Russian President Vladimir Putin later said that he had found Merkel’s confessions concerning the Minsk agreements totally unexpected and disappointing.