20 May 2019 16:07

Zelensky should prove readiness to settle Donbas conflict by complying with Minsk agreements - Slutsky

MOSCOW. May 20 (Interfax) - Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky has said he is counting on the new Ukrainian parliament's ability to pass legislation ensuring the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

"In assuming office [Ukraine's new President Volodymyr] Zelensky was saying the right things about the need to cease fire in Donbas. [...] If that is really so, then the new president's next logical step should be implementing the Minsk agreements, their political part," Slutsky told journalists on Monday.

"I hope the new Verkhovna Rada will finally be able to pass necessary legislative decisions for that," he said.

Zelensky gave part of his inauguration speech in Russian, which is the mother tongue of a majority of people living in Donetsk and Luhansk, and "those were words of readiness for dialogue for the sake of peace," Slutsky said.

In 2014, then new president Petro Poroshenko was already carrying out lustration, he said. "Now, apparently, lustration is what Poroshenko himself and his entire team are facing. Volodymyr Zelensky's first steps as president of Ukraine are aimed at the overall replacement of powerful elites. This is true both of the government and the parliament," Slutsky said.

What kind of changes there will be and whether they would improve the lives of ordinary Ukrainian was yet to be seen, he said.