Russia should have "started earlier" to act in relation to Ukraine, and not expected to solve the situation peacefully, said Vladimir Putin at a press conference after the visit to the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, for the summit of the Eurasian Economic Union.
"Apparently, we got our bearings late, to be honest," RIA Novosti quoted Putin as saying. “ Maybe all this should have started earlier. We just hoped that we would be able to reach an agreement within the framework of the Minsk peace agreements. But what can I say."
According to the Russian president, "no one was going to fulfill the Minsk agreements."
"Through the words of former President Poroshenko, the leadership of Ukraine also said that it was not not going to fulfill it. He signed, but didn’t intend to follow through," Putin said. “But I still expected that the other participants were sincere with us. It turns out that they also deceived us, and the only aim was to pump Ukraine with weapons and prepare it for hostilities."
The Russian president criticized the recent statement of former German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the Minsk agreements. In an interview with the newspaper Zeit, she, among other things, said that "the Minsk agreement, which was signed in 2014, was an attempt to give Ukraine time to strengthen" and that she doubts that NATO countries could then do as much as they do now to help Ukraine.
Putin explained that, according to him, Merkel's words show that the Kremlin's decision to start the invasion of Ukraine was correct.
"Her position only shows that we did everything right in terms of starting a special military operation," the Russian president said.
According to him, there is "almost zero" trust in relations between Russia and the West, but after the statement of the former Chancellor of Germany, "it is not clear how to negotiate, with whom and about what guarantees."
"There is now, of course, the question of trust," Putin lamented. “But we'll still have to negotiate in the end. I have already said many times that we are ready for these agreements, we are open, but this makes us think, of course, about who we are dealing with."