REUTERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country will be "building up support" for occupied Donbas.

"We, Russia, have supported Donbas, and will continue doing this. We will even be building up our support for Donbas. This applies both to the support for production, the solution of social issues, and infrastructure issues, etc.," he said at an annual press conference on Thursday, December 17, according to an UNIAN correspondent in Russia.

Read alsoDonbas war update: Ukraine reports three ceasefire violations on Dec 16At the same time, Putin said prospects for the development of relations between Russia and Ukraine largely depend on the Ukrainian authorities, rather than on him.

"As for the prospects for the development of relations between Russia and Ukraine: this largely depends on the Ukrainian authorities," he said.

"I won't say now – from Ukraine. From the Ukrainian authorities," he added.

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