REUTERS

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories Oleksiy Reznikov says that the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin calls on Ukraine to negotiate with members of the Russia-controlled "Donetsk People's Republic" and "Luhansk People's Republic" ("DPR"/"LPR") signals Russia's withdrawal from the Minsk agreements.

Reznikov announced this during Savik Shuster's TV program "Freedom of Speech."

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This was his reaction to Putin's statement that if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wants to talk about the problems of Donbas, then the Ukrainian leaders supposedly need to communicate with "DPR"/"LPR", and only then with Russia.

"We have heard the Russian president officially recognize the two quasi-formations of the occupation regime whose acronym is 'DPR'/'LPR.' This is in fact the withdrawal from the Minsk deal because the Minsk agreements do not have such notion as 'DPR'/'LPR' but they mention separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions," he said.

Reznikov believes that this statement by Putin should be analyzed in the Normandy Format and the OSCE.

Zelensky offers Putin to meet

  • In a televised address on April 20, 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invited his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to hold talks in Donbas.
  • On April 22, 2021, Putin responded to the invitation by suggesting that Zelensky could discuss the Donbas issue with the "leaders" of the two self-proclaimed republics, the "LPR/DPR," adding that Moscow remained open for contact on any other issues.