"We very much count on the fact that our US partners and colleagues will embark on this path of cooperation. And I repeat again, the sooner we solve all these problems, the better," Putin said.
The Donbass conflict in Ukraine erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.