Russian President Vladimir Putin has great respect for the Ukrainian people, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.
"President Putin has always had great respect for the Ukrainian nation," Peskov stressed, adding that Putin has stated the same on numerous occasions, TASS reports.
"Unfortunately, this has not been reciprocated by previous Ukrainian leaders," the spokesman stated.
According to the Kremlin spokesman, Ukraine’s Russophobic policy reached its peak under the previous president but it will take much time to restore relations of kinship between the two countries.
"Russophobia actually became a state policy in Ukraine," Peskov pointed out, adding that "it was sure to produce dire results," whipping up the public sentiment against Russia.
"We regret to say this. We do understand that even if the Russophobic policy changes, it will take a long time to balance out the atmosphere that should be an integral part of Russia-Ukraine relations, the relations of kinship," the Kremlin spokesman noted.