Russia's president said Ukraine had submitted the Donbass republics to genocide Kiev's actions against the Donetsk and Lugansk People s Republics were crimes against humanity and effectively constituted genocide of the local population, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. The president made remarks to participants of the 10th International Legal Forum in St Petersburg on Thursday.
Russia is open to dialogue on strategic stability, preserving agreements on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and improving the situation in arms control, according to Putin. He said that they were focused on joining efforts on key issues like the climate agenda, fighting famine, providing stability in food and energy markets, and fair rules in international trade and competition.
The president stressed that the importance of ensuring international cooperation on various issues could help to prevent crises like the one currently taking place in Ukraine in the future.
With this approach we could avoid crises such as the current one in Donbass that is happening to protect its residents from genocide and there can be no other definition for the Kiev regime's actions than a crime against humanity. Putin said that Moscow's foreign affairs agenda has always been positive. Russia seeks to develop multipolar relations with anyone interested in them and places great value on cooperation within the UN, the G 20, BRICS, the SCO and other groups, he added.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev's failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has admitted that Kiev's main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and create powerful armed forces. In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked.
Kiev and Moscow have traded accusations of crimes against civilians over the course of the conflict. Ukraine's rhetoric has been backed by top Western politicians, with US President Joe Biden accusing Russia of committing genocide in the country. The White House, however, has tried to downplay such remarks, insisting that they do not constitute Washington's official policy. The UN refused to describe the ongoing conflict as such, stating that it had not documented patterns that could amount to genocide.