Asked why Moscow had not yet responded to a proposal regarding the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine, Volker noted that the absence of an answer was not a surprise for the United States.
We knew that it would take them [the Russian side] time, because ahead of all there was the re-election of President Putin, and then inauguration. At the same time, I want to note that this is still a hot spot. People are still being killed, and humanitarian problems continue unabated. The time has come. We are waiting for a response from the Russian authorities and we hope for some progress, he said.
The U.S. envoy believes that there is a real chance to end the war in the Donbas if this is what President Putin wants to.
I think that it rests with Russia to decide. There is no internal conflict. There are no grounds for a civil war, no reasons for military operations, except for the presence of Russian troops. If we agree on a resolution, especially regarding the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission, which will provide security zones, we will really get an opportunity to put an end to the conflict. There is such a possibility, but it requires Russia's desire to act in this way, Volker stressed.