Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vowed Saturday to end the separatist conflict in the east of his country, where fighting between Russia-backed rebels and Ukrainian troops has killed more than 14,000 people since 2014.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Zelenskiy said he hopes to end the conflict by the end of his presidential term in 2024.
“If in five years, we will end the war, bring our people back, then I did (became president) for a reason,” he said.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine erupted in April 2014, weeks after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, and has devastated the country’s industrial heartland.
Thanking the United States for supporting Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, Zelenskiy expressed hope to “start afresh” Kyiv’s relations with the U.S. now that proceedings for President Donald Trump‘s impeachment are over.
Ukraine and Zelenskiy were at the centre of the impeachment hearings. In a phone call in July that triggered a congressional inquiry, Trump pressured Zelenskiy to investigate the involvement of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden‘s son with Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company.
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