11 Feb 2020 15:16

Putin understands that war must end - Zelensky

KYIV. Feb 11 (Interfax) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin "understood" him at the Normandy-format summit in Paris.

"I have no doubt that he understood me, he understood me loud and clear. I think you immediately realize who is standing in front of you, what kind of person this is, in the event of such contact when you look straight into their face. Intelligence information does not matter. I think that Putin understood me. And he understands that this war [in Donbas] must end," Zelensky said in an interview with Interfax.

He also said it was unlikely that Russia would stop generating "new global ideas."

Russia is ready to think about specifying the text of the Minsk agreements, Zelensky said.

"I call it 'Minsk flexibility'. Everyone must come to understand. I believe this has been understood by Germany and France. I also believe I can feel the sentiment indicating that Russia is ready to think this through, as well. Regrettably, it sounds so confused and diplomatic, but it is still ready to think on it. That's a start at least, a possibility to say, hey, what's written there isn't working," he said.

The debate on fulfilling the Minsk Agreements the way they are either strongly disturbs Ukrainian society or does not quite satisfy Russia or disagrees with the stance of Germany and France, which insist on "doing everything in accordance with the Minsk [agreements]," Zelensky said.

"It seems to me we made some headway at the previous meeting. We haven't ceased fire, which is clearly a disadvantage, but we have gotten our people back, which is a plus. But still, this kind of balance is not a victory; a victory in a war means that the war is over, and this kind of victory is everyone's advantage," he said.

"Frankly, I am sure, although I do not know whether Russia is sure too, that victory for Russia will be the end of this war. It will be everyone's victory, not over Ukraine but over oneself. I am positive about this," Zelensky said.