Kurt Volker: Putin can change policy towards Crimea and Donbas

Kurt Volker: Putin can change policy towards Crimea and Donbas

The Minsk agreements contain all the necessary elements for settlement of the situation in Donbas and need only a political will to be fulfilled.

U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker said this in an interview with Radio Liberty.

In particular, answering the journalist's question about the effectiveness of the Minsk agreements and the need for Minsk 3, the change in the format and the venue for talks, Volker said: “I do not see any grounds for that. As for me, the Minsk agreements contain all the elements for settlement of the situation. We lack political will, not the content. If there is a political will on part of the Russian side to withdraw the forces and ensure a long-term real truce and real security guarantees, then the other elements of the Minsk agreements (elections, amnesty, special status) can also be implemented. They cannot be implemented right now, but their implementation is possible. I think that the Ukrainian government, the Verkhovna Rada are ready to do this if they see security. Therefore, in my opinion, the Minsk agreements really provide the right balance of political will, which we do not see yet, and therefore it is important to continue to involve Russia [in talks].”

At the same time, the U.S. Special Representative believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin can change the policy towards Crimea and Donbas.

"I really think that it is possible and that he can change the image he represents to the world. Currently, Europe, the United States, different countries of the world see Russia as the aggressor. We see no improvements in relations between Russia and the United States. We see no improvements in relations between Russia and Europe. The sanctions are imposed on Russia. I think that it is quite possible for Russia to change everything drastically. However, to make it happen, Russia must change its approach to the package of issues, including the issue of Eastern Europe. It is quite possible, if Russia contributes to peace, stabilizes the conflict, implements the Minsk agreements. Such steps would be of significant importance and would change the perception of Russia," Volker said.


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