"The warring parties always, I want to emphasize this, always find weapons somewhere. This is also true for the eastern regions of Ukraine. If the current situation is resolved by political means, no weapons will be required here," Putin told reporters.
The Russian president also said that the weapons in the Donbas "appeared only after people started getting killed by tanks, artillery, multiple rocket launchers and aircraft. And those who resist appeared there. As soon as an attempt to resolve the issues by political means is made, the weapons will not be there," Putin said.
He added that Russia will not allow to crush the separatists with force. "What will we never agree to? That someone will talk to anyone from a position of strength," Putin said at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum on Friday.
It is a well-known fact that Russia has been providing the separatists in the Donbas with tanks, Grads, self-propelled anti-aircraft guns and other weapons for over a year.