Press statement of V.Putin on situation in Ukraine following talks with Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel (10 of May 2015)

kinopoisk.ru

The Federal Chancellor and I held substantive talks and discussed a broad range of bilateral and international matters. It is no secret that Russian-German relations are not going through the best of times due to our differing positions on the events in Ukraine.

 Naturally, our discussion of the international agenda focused primarily on the situation in Ukraine. Ms Merkel and I are in regular contact on this issue, including through our joint discussions with the Presidents of France and Ukraine in the Normandy format talks, which has shown itself to be quite an effective instrument for international facilitation of a peaceful settlement for the conflict in the Donbass region.

Yes, it is true that we differ considerably in our assessment of the events that led to the anti-constitutional coup in the Ukrainian capital in February 2014. But at the same time, I am sure that you will all agree, and the participants in the peace talks say this constantly, that there is no alternative to a peaceful diplomatic solution. To achieve this, we must fully and strictly abide by the Minsk agreements reached on February 12 this year. I remind you that peace settlement measures form a package that ties together all of the key aspects for a settlement: political, military, socioeconomic and humanitarian.

I think that we have every reason to say that the Minsk process is making progress, not without difficulties along the way, but it is moving forward. You know that after February 12, in spite of all the problems in southeastern Ukraine, the situation has been quieter there, even if there are still the problems that we know about. I firmly believe that the only way to guarantee a reliable and lasting settlement is to organise direct dialogue between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk.

I think this is one of the key conditions for a settlement in general. I also think it essential to lift the economic embargo, restore financial and banking ties, and carry out constitutional reform with the southeastern regions’ involvement. The Minsk Agreements of February 12 cover all of these areas, and as I said, they must be implemented.

We are happy that after the Normandy format consultations on April 30, when we had another telephone conversation, the four sub-groups set up to address specific areas of the settlement process began their work in Minsk on May 6. We will do everything possible to make their work effective, though success here depends above all on the people who have power, above all the authorities in Kiev.

We will exert all possible influence on the authorities in Donetsk and Lugansk in order to ensure that this process goes at the hoped-for speed and quality. Ms Merkel and I agreed to work more closely on the crisis in Ukraine, including through the Normandy format.