In an interview with The Guardian, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed he was ready to withdraw from the Minsk negotiation process in a year if no progress was made in resolving the conflict in the territory of Donbass, which, he says, depends mainly on Russian President Vladimir Putin. Chief of the Donetsk Republic Public Movement’s Central Executive Committee Alexey Muratov commented on this statement.

“Zelensky’s ultimatum sounds ridiculous, as it is Kiev who is responsible for the failure to comply with the provisions of the Minsk Agreements, which disables peace reestablishment in the region. Moreover, the ongoing provocations from the armed formations of Ukraine do not allow achieving a stable ceasefire, and the refusal to withdraw the forces and weapons along the entire line of contact proves that Zelensky lacks political will to settle the situation diplomatically.

At the same time, his attempts look even more ridiculous to shift the responsibility on Vladimir Putin for the failure to implement the Minsk agreements, who, on the contrary, adheres to the need for their strict and consistent implementation and rejects the proposals to revise the items “unfavorable” for Ukraine.

It is noteworthy that we are talking about those very items designed to provide security guarantees for the residents of the Donbass Republics and the implementation of their aspirations, commitment to which they openly expressed six years ago and have been steadily adhering to. Their disagreement with the course of Ukraine, which was taken after the coup d’état in 2014, unwillingness of the new Kiev authorities to listen and hear Donbass, led to an armed confrontation. And the same unwillingness to listen and hear Donetsk and Lugansk does not allow settling the conflict now.

As long as Kiev does not put up with the fact of historical and geopolitical choice of the people of Donbass, as long as there is no political decision to end the bloodshed and switch to a civilized “divorce”, we should not expect that the Ukrainian government fulfills any agreements, even if they have international status or signed by heavyweight parties. This means that Zelensky’s all rhetoric is nothing but attempts to justify his lack of will,” Muratov said.