Kremlin says Minsk deals failure led to Russia's Ukraine offensive
- This content was produced in Russia where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine
MOSCOW, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Russia launched what it calls a special military operation in Ukraine because its concerns around peace accords between Kyiv and Russian-backed separatists were ignored, Russian news agencies quoted the Kremlin spokesman as saying on Sunday.
President Vladimir Putin this week bemoaned the failure to implement the Minsk agreements - ceasefire and constitutional reform deals between Kyiv and Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine brokered in 2014 and 2015 by Russia, France and Germany, at the outset of the conflict with Ukraine.
Both Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of violating the deal.
Asked by a journalist whether Russia understood that it was being "deceived" over the Minsk accords, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "Over time, of course, it became obvious.
"And, again, President Putin and our other representatives constantly kept saying this," the TASS news agency quoted Peskov as saying. "But this was all ignored by the other participants of the negotiation process.
"This is all precisely the precursor to the special military operation."
Putin was asked on Friday about remarks by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of the agreements' sponsors, who told the Zeit magazine in an interview published on Wednesday that the 2014 agreement had been "an attempt to give Ukraine time" - which it had used to become more able to defend itself.
Russian media and politicians have quickly construed this as a betrayal on Merkel's part.
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