Ukraine's Zelensky says will seek to 'reboot' peace talks

Telegram från AFP / Omni
21 april 2019, 21.42

The winner of Ukraine's presidential vote Volodymyr Zelensky vowed Sunday to "reboot" peace talks with separatists that also involve Russia and the West.

"We will continue with the Minsk talks, we will reboot them," Zelensky told a news conference after exit polls showed him winning with 73 percent of the vote.

"The most important" thing is to "stop the fighting", Zelensky said, also promising to bring back Ukrainians held in rebel areas or in Russia that Kiev says are political prisoners or prisoners of war.

The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany signed peace agreements in Minsk in 2015 that aimed to put an end to the conflict between Kiev and Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

They have so far failed to halt the fighting, which has claimed some 13,000 lives since the conflict erupted in 2014 following the ouster of a pro-Russian leader.

Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia rebels routinely blame each other for breaking the various truces attempted under the Minsk accords.

Zelensky said there would be "personnel changes" in those involved in peace talks, but did not elaborate.