Russia’s foreign minister has rejected Volodymyr Zelensky’s “peace formula” as a basis for negotiations.
According to the report of the Russian news agency RIA, Sergei Lavrov believes that Ukraine is still not ready for real peace talks.
Mr Lavrov also told RIA that Ukraine’s aim to drive Russia out of eastern Ukraine and Crimea with Western help was “an illusion”.
It comes days after Mr Lavrov appeared to end any immediate prospect of peace talks in the 10-month-old conflict.
Late on Monday night, he spoke to the Tass news agency, saying: “Our proposals are to demilitarize and de-colonize the areas under their control. [Ukrainian] The elimination of threats to Russia’s security, including our new territories, is well known to the enemy.
“The point is simple: fulfill them for your own good. Otherwise, the issue will be decided by the Russian military.”
But his comments came hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted he wanted to talk “with everyone involved about an acceptable solution”, and that Kyiv and the West had so far reached an agreement. are responsible for the lack of progress.
Mr Putin’s comments drew an angry response from Mikhail Podoliak, an adviser to President Zelensky, who said the Russian leader “needs to come back to reality”.
But later that day, Ukraine’s position appeared to soften, with its Foreign Minister Dmytro Koliba proposing a UN-hosted summit before the end of February to prosecute Russia for war crimes. Can participate after facing.
There have been no serious peace talks in the conflict for months, and an end to the fighting seems unlikely.
Millions of Ukrainians have fled their country, and millions of those who have stayed behind are without power due to Russian attacks on infrastructure.
But Ukraine says it will not negotiate until every Russian soldier is out of its territory, while Russia insists it will continue fighting until its goals are achieved.
Mr Putin has said he believes the military action is “defending our national interests… protecting our citizens” and that any talks should be on his terms.
Ukraine says that would be unacceptable, as it would mean bowing to Russian demands and accepting Mr Putin’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions.
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