MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that what Kiev has to do is sit down at the negotiating table with Donbass, the sooner it happens, the better.
"The Belarusian president and I have ascertained that the key to restoring civil peace in Ukraine and to relieving tensions around that country is the implementation of the Minsk agreements. All Kiev has to do is sit down at the negotiating table with representatives of Donbass and agree on political, military, economic and humanitarian measures to end this conflict," Putin said after talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Friday.
"The sooner it happens, the better," he added.
"Regrettably, right now we are watching, on the contrary, an escalation in Donbass," the Russian president said.
According to the Russian president, the process aimed at resolving the intra-Ukrainian conflict "still treads water." In his opinion, all efforts and contacts between political advisers to the leaders of the Normandy Four group as well as negotiations with foreign counterparts do not help.
"Kiev does not implement the Minsk accords. In particular, it adamantly rejects direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk, thus sabotaging the implementation of the agreements on amending the constitution, on the special status of Donbass, on local elections and an amnesty - on all the key issues of the Minsk agreements," he stressed.
The Russian president pointed out that human rights are abused on a huge and systematic scale in Ukraine, and discrimination against the Russian-speaking population is being enshrined at the legislative level.