18 Feb 2022 10:49

Zelensky has effectively rejected Minsk accords, Russian MPs' request to recognize LPR and DPR not accidental - Duma speaker

MOSCOW. Feb 18 (Interfax) - Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin believes that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has effectively refused to implement the Minsk Agreements for Donbas, and, in this context, the State Duma's recent appeal to the Russian president to recognize the self-proclaimed Donetsk (DPR) and Luhansk (LPR) People's Republics was not accidental.

"By what he says, Zelensky effectively refuses to fulfill the Minsk accords," Volodin said on Telegram on Friday.

"Zelensky has said that he will not hold talks with the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics," he said.

"Local elections and political settlement are issues that cannot be resolved without coordination with representatives of the people's republics. If the parties to the conflict do not hold talks, then who should tackle these problems?" Volodin said.

"It was not accidental that deputies of the State Duma spoke out in favor of the need to recognize the DPR and the LPR as sovereign states," he said.

"Civilians have been suffering and dying. We cannot remain indifferent to it. We are concerned about how to protect Russian citizens and compatriots who live there," Volodin said.

"In violation of the Minsk Agreements, Kyiv has undertaken an attempt to escalate the conflict by mounting a mortar attack on localities in Donbas," he said.

Mass graves have been found in the DPR and the LPR, and the Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case on the counts of brutal treatment of the civilian population and the use of means and methods prohibited by international treaties during an armed conflict, he said.

Meanwhile, "Kyiv's crimes are being hushed up by Washington and Brussels," Volodin said, adding that "we see neither condemnation nor an investigation into these crimes against humanity."

"It is important to establish all the facts now in order to bring all those guilty to justice. However, instead of condemnation and a willingness to get to the bottom of all this, deputies of European parliaments, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly choose to act like an ostrich. The application of double standards is obvious here," Volodin said.