Russian President Vladimir Putin, who insists on the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, has stated the impossibility of withdrawing foreign, that is, Russian, troops from the occupied Donbass, since they are not there. He stated this at a press conference.
"There is a clause in the Minsk agreements on the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign troops and closure of the border… There are no foreign troops there. There are "people's militia", self-defense forces… They consist of the locals", - the Russian president once again voiced the version that, allegedly, local "tractor drivers and miners" are fighting against Ukraine.
As previously reported, Russia does not comply with the main provisions of the protocol signed in Minsk on September 5, 2014. In particular, the Minsk Protocol provides for an immediate bilateral cessation of the use of weapons, permanent monitoring on the Ukrainian-Russian state border and verification by the OSCE with the creation of security zone in the border regions of Ukraine and the Russian Federation, removal of illegal armed formations, military equipment, as well as militants and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine. Instead, Russia supports the occupation authorities of Donbass with weapons, ammunition, military equipment and personnel on a permanent basis. Russia also categorically opposes monitoring of Ukraine's uncontrolled section of the state border through which columns of military equipment regularly come to occupied Donbass.