Russian President Vladimir Putin did not congratulate Vladimir Zelensky on his inauguration as President of Ukraine, follows from the answers of Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov to journalists ‘ questions.
“President Putin will congratulate President Zelensky with the first successes in the settlement of the internal conflict in the South-East of Ukraine, and also the first successes in the normalization of Russian-Ukrainian relations”, — said Peskov, answering the question, congratulated Putin Zelensky, whose inauguration took place on 20 May. So far, there are no Russian-Ukrainian contacts at the highest level on the Kremlin’s agenda, he said.
Peskov also commented on Zelensky’s statements about the Ukrainian belonging of the Crimea and Donbass: “As for the belonging of the Crimea, here, as we have repeatedly said, in General, such a question does not exist and can not exist. This is one of the regions of the Russian Federation. As for the South-East, Donbass, then again it is an internal Ukrainian problem, which can and should be solved by the President of Ukraine, based primarily on a clear plan set out in the Minsk agreements.”
To explain what the Kremlin will consider the first success of Zelensky, Peskov did not: “I Think if they are, we will see them with the naked eye.” Also, Peskov declared readiness of Moscow to conduct negotiations on an exchange of prisoners. “You remember that this topic was actively discussed within the existing channels of dialogue, within the existing mechanisms, the contact group, so we hope that these discussions will continue,” he said.
The inauguration ceremony of Zelensky was held in the building of the Verkhovna Rada on May 20. He took the oath on the text of the Bible and assumed the office of the head of state. In his speech after the inauguration, Zelensky promised to do everything necessary for the peace in Donbass, saying that the Crimea and Donbass remain Ukrainian territories.