11 Oct 2019 15:02

Kyiv must display political will to disengage forces in Donbas, settle situation there - Putin

ASHGABAT. Oct 11 (Interfax) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky cannot ensure the disengagement of forces in Donbas because nationalist military units are obstructing this process, but Kyiv must demonstrate its political will in this situation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"They agreed to disengage forces, but the incumbent president has so far been unable to ensure the disengagement of military units and hardware. He simply can't do it. Nationalist military formations have come there and publicly announced that "if the army leaves these positions, we will fill them." So, the army is still there," Putin said at an expanded session of the Council of Heads of State of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Ashgabat on Friday.

Representatives of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic and Donetsk People's Republic "have already twice or even three times signaled their readiness and have set off flares, white flares which are a signal of disengagement, but there has been no response from the other side," Putin said, adding that these nationalists are not allowing the army to pull back.

"And here it is necessary to demonstrate political will. That's why I think that it is necessary to support not concrete people but their policy," Putin said.

"Beyond any doubt, it is necessary to support any efforts aimed at achieving peace, including in the southeast of Ukraine. We will undoubtedly do so," he said.

Support needs to be given to steps to bring about peace rather than concrete politicians, he said.

"But it will largely depend on the people who are in power today and their ability to make their wishes come true and deliver on their promises given to the Ukrainian people," Putin said.