Merkel has basically said that the Minsk Agreement was to buy time for Ukraine to build up its army and never was there any intention of allowing the Russians in the Donbas to vote on their own future. Merkel admitted that they negotiated in bad faith with Putin simply to allow Ukraine time to fortify itself thereby buying time to build its army. She also said that at the time, NATO was weak and could not provide support to Kyiv to the extent they do currently. The Minsk agreements were signed to pretend to resolve the Donbas conflict.