The conflict over Ukraine’s borders with Russia, which has soured Moscow’s relationship with the West and stirred up new concerns about global unrest, may be close to a “turning point”, according to Arkady Dvorkovich, Russia’s deputy Prime Minister.
“Russia is interested in stabilizing the situation globally and in Ukraine in particular,” Dvorkovich told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he is one of Russia’s most senior representatives after both President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev declined to make the trip.
He extended the possibility of reducing the price of gas to Ukraine, after Russia hiked it earlier in the conflict.
This week, military activity in Donetsk and Luhansk, the disputed parts of eastern Ukraine where Russian-backed militants are battling the Ukrainian army, had escalated after falling back over Christmas and New Year.
Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian President, who came to power last year, has acknowledged this week that a military solution to the fighting, which has claimed nearly 5,000 lives so far, does not exist.