16:27 Apr. 14, 2016
Russian president backs armed OSCE monitors for eastern Ukraine
In his annual televised phone-in Russian president Vladimir Putin said the West should use its influence on Ukrainian authorities to get Kyiv fully implement the Minsk peace deal.
"If the Ukrainian authorities and our partners in Europe and the US want us to go through this path and reach some results, then - yes, they need to work with their partners in Kiev where the president and both the former and the future prime ministers and the entire opposition are connected one way or another with the West. Then use your influence on them, stop repeating again and again that Moscow must fulfil something," Putin was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Putin also accused Ukraine of dragging its feet on the political aspects of the Minsk agreement, such as giving the east more autonomy.
"We've fulfilled everything we had to fulfil, now they have to do something," he said.
The Russian president added he supported an idea to deploy armed officers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) along the contact line in eastern Ukraine.
"Recently I had a conversation with Piotr (Petro) Poroshenko and he suggested to strengthen the OSCE mission at the line of contact, to have them armed and to achieve a full ceasefire. I think it is a good proposal and we support it," Putin said, adding that in his opinion there would be no active fighting in eastern Ukraine in future.
Commenting on the appointment of Volodymyr Groysman as Ukrainian prime minister and the changes in Ukraine's government, Putin told that he hoped the new Ukraine's government would be "pragmatic".
"I hope the new government will draw conclusions from the events of the past three years and will act pragmatically in the interests of its people, will not fight certain phobias or act in favour of certain foreign organisations," he stated.
Reporting by Reuters