Russia launching war against Ukraine is “unlikely,” Russian president Vladimir Putin said in an interview with a local television network. He called for the Minsk ceasefire agreement to be respected by the warring rebels and Ukrainian forces to achieve peace in the region.
“I think that such an apocalyptic scenario is unlikely and I hope this will never happen,” Putin said when asked if a real war is impending.
He expressed optimism, saying the key to stabilize the crisis in Ukraine is for the Minsk agreement to be implemented. “Europe is just as interested in that as Russia. No-one wants conflict on the edge of Europe, especially armed conflict,” he said.
Putin was calm, confident and smiling during the interview, Sarah Rainsford of BBC News noted. In the same manner, he shoots down the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian president dismissed accusation that he is deploying troops and ammunition to help rebels in their fight against Ukrainian forces. He however ridiculed Ukraine for making such accusation as way of covering up its defeat in the hands of the rebels whom Putin reportedly described as “miners and tractor drivers.” In the same tone, he advised Ukraine’s president to focus on the country’s failing economy.
Ukraine Appeals For Lethal Weapon Aid
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s deputy speaker Andriy Parubiy said Canada may help the country in convincing the United States to deploy lethal weapon aid in the region. Ukraine’s government, through Parubiy, reiterated its call for enhanced support from the U.S., Canada and Europe in its fight against the separatists. The country asks for defensive weapons and believes Canada will have an authoritative voice regarding the help sought.
“We’re sure that Canada’s voice is authoritative and carries a lot of weight. So the U.S. has to make this decision, but Canada is kind of the authoritative voice that can push that. It can influence the U.S. decision,” Parubiy told Globe and Mail.
Parubiy believes Canada can be considered a world leader like Ukraine. “Words and actions are the same in Canada, so it’s kind of an example for the rest of the world with their Ukraine policy,” he said.