Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes for an agreement with Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky on improving relations between the two countries.
"There’s always hope," Putin told TASS in an interview for the project entitled "20 Questions with Vladimir Putin".
By the same token, he pointed to certain changes in the stance of his Ukrainian counterpart.
"Unfortunately, as you see, after returning from Paris (from the Normandy Quartet summit between Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France on December 9 - TASS) he [Zelensky] started talking about the necessity to review the Minsk Agreements. This begs the question," Putin said.
At the same time, he recalled that Moscow and Kiev had managed to agree on a prisoner swap, and on gas transit through Ukraine.
Zelensky, who emerged as the winner in Ukraine’s presidential election in the spring of 2019, declared that he saw his main goal in putting an end to the conflict in eastern Ukraine and vowed readiness to implement the Minsk Agreements. At the initiative of the Ukrainian leader, there was the first-ever telephone conversation between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents. In the autumn, there was the first swap of individuals in custody, already convicted or still under investigation. At the very end of 2019, Gazprom and Naftogaz agreed to prolong the agreement to transit Russian gas to Europe through Ukraine.
Episode 2 of the video interview is available at https://putin.tass.ru/en.