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    January 11, 2016

    Putin Schools Merkel & Hollande in Minsk 101

    Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
    11th January, 2016

    The leaders of Germany and France, who are participating in the 'Normandy Format' to resolve the Ukrainian crisis, should carefully understand the nuances and not demand things from Moscow that Kiev should be doing. This opinion was expressed by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in interview to German newspaper Bild, calling the accusations against Russia  the theater of the absurd.

    "Our European partners and the German Chancellor (Angela Merkel - approx.TASS), and the President of France (Francois Hollande - approx.TASS) should somehow delve into the problems, or at least I think so", - Putin said. 

    "Everyone is talking saying that it is necessary to fulfill the Minsk agreements before we can revisit the issue of sanctions", - said the President of the Russian Federation.

    "Trust me, it now takes on the character of the theatre of the absurd because the main thing that should be done on the execution of the Minsk agreements is on the side of today's Kiev authorities," he said, adding that it is impossible to "demand from Moscow that what Kiev should do". The President of the Russian Federation with the text of the Minsk agreements in his hands explained to the journalist, in what sequence the points of the agreement should be completed. "Here it is clearly written that constitutional reform should be carried out , and it's not Moscow that must make these decisions!" he said. "First, constitutional reform, political processes, and then on the basis of these processes is the creation of an atmosphere of trust and then completion of all processes, including closing the border", - said Putin.

    The President of the Russian Federation was sympathetic to his colleagues and their schedule. "But once we take upon this issue, it is necessary to delve into it", he advised. As an example of the reluctance of Ukraine to fulfill the commitments, Putin stated that the adoption of amendments to the Constitution on a permanent basis, in particular, on the special status of Donbass, has not yet been adopted. "We, when in Paris, had a meeting (in November 2015), and the German Chancellor and French President agreed that this law should be given a different character, and it should be there on a permanent basis", - said the President of the Russian Federation. "How can you demand from Moscow that which needs to be done in Kiev by our colleagues and by their decision?", said Putin.
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