Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Minsk agreements, which were meant to end the Donbas war, no longer exist since he recognized the breakaway republics of Donetsk (DPR) and Luhansk (LPR).
“In this sense, no, the Minsk agreements are non-existent now. Why should they be implemented if we recognize the independence of these republics?” Putin said at a press conference on Tuesday, according to Russia’s Tass news agency.
The Donbas war has essentially been at a stalemate since the second Minsk agreement was signed in 2015, although ceasefire violations are frequently recorded by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Under the Minsk agreements, Ukraine agreed to cede some autonomy to the DPR and LPR and hold local elections. In exchange, the Donbas would remain part of Ukraine, and the region would be demilitarized. But the accords were never implemented.
Amid the recent tensions, Ukrainian officials have publicly said that Ukraine shouldn’t be forced to implement the agreements. Russia and Ukraine held recent talks brokered by Germany and France on the accords, but no progress was made.
“The Minsk agreements were killed long before yesterday’s recognition of the Donbas republics. And not by us, not by these republics, but by Kyiv’s current authorities,” Putin said.