Continuation of peace talks is possible only if the regime of silence is observed, but to a large extent it depends on Russia as a party to the conflict. This was stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an interview for Dom TV channel.
"I strongly believe that you can't sit at a table with people who have weapons in their hands. It's not just philosophy - it's a substantive conversation. I have always emphasized that this is the first point of both Minsk and all agreements," the President said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the established ceasefire regime in Donbas has significantly reduced the number of casualties, although the enemy continues provocations, and we suffer losses.
"But the feeling that we are going forward without losing people has appeared," the President said, adding that the hope for the implementation of the next steps provided by the Minsk agreements has also appeared - withdrawal of troops, establishment of Ukraine's control over the state border, etc.
Therefore, according to the President, it is necessary to talk and put pressure on Russia to make it fulfill its agreements and commitments, because Russia is a party to the conflict, although Moscow does not want to admit it.
"The parties to the conflict are Russia and Ukraine. Everyone should understand this perfectly. People in the occupied territories also understand this. Even those who are now watching and do not believe this. But deep down they know that I am right, and I am telling the truth," Volodymyr Zelenskyy added.
The President stressed that Ukraine as a state and he personally are doing everything possible to end the war.
"I really want it. I do everything for this. But, unfortunately, not everything depends on me," he said.
"I believe and do not conceal it - and the President of the Russian Federation knows my opinion that today 90% of success in the return of Donbas, the deoccupation of our territories depends on one person. And you need to know for sure that he lives with it. And people in Donbas should understand it, and should not have any illusions. There are no "ifs". Yes, we convene Germans, French, Americans, involve British, Canadians, Arab countries trying to put pressure from all sides… But political will is needed. And we have it from our side," Volodymyr Zelenskyy assured.
He noted that Ukraine adheres to all agreements, but is constantly faced with non-compliance by Russia and pro-Russian militants. A clear indication of this is the checkpoints closed by the occupied territories. Ukraine, for its part, has built new checkpoints and created all conditions for their opening. Another example of Russia's unwillingness to fulfill its commitments is the refusal to provide access for representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross mission to Ukrainians detained in the occupied territories.
"As for the Red Cross, I had an agreement with the President of Russia that the Red Cross would have access to the temporarily occupied territories... We were told that there would be an opportunity. The Red Cross has not had any access since our agreements," the Head of State said.