Putin ally says Ukraine's demilitarisation only way to prevent war in Europe

Russia's State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin is seen before the Victory Day Parade in Red Square in Moscow, Russia June 24, 2020. The military parade, marking the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, was scheduled for May 9 but postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW, Feb 24 (Reuters) - The speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament said on Thursday that the only way to prevent war in Europe was for Ukraine to be "demilitarised", the RIA news agency reported.

Vyacheslav Volodin, a senior lawmaker, is a close ally of President Vladimir Putin. Russia on Thursday launched a massive military operation against Ukraine.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Maxim Rodionov; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Alison Williams

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.