Zelensky said he was ready for negotiations with Putin, but without intermediaries
The President of Ukraine said that he was ready to speak with Putin directly, without intermediaries and ultimatums. Contacts between the negotiators from the delegations are ongoing, but so far without result, the Kremlin reported earlier * .jpg” alt=”Zelensky said he was ready to negotiate with Putin, but without intermediaries” />
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was ready to hold direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I am ready to speak with Putin. But only with him. Without any intermediaries. And on the terms of dialogue, and not on the terms of ultimatums, — Zelensky said in an interview with the Italian TV channel Rai 1 posted on his Telegram.
After the start of Russia's military special operation in Ukraine, Moscow and Kyiv held several rounds of negotiations to resolve the conflict as part of delegations.
Zelensky has repeatedly stated that he is ready to speak personally with Putin. In mid-March, he said that Kyiv, during negotiations with Moscow on a settlement, was seeking a meeting between the leaders of the two countries. “The task of our delegation” do everything so that the meeting of the presidents takes place,— Zelensky said then. Proposed to hold direct talks between the leaders of the two countries and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba.
In March and early April, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that in order to hold a face-to-face meeting between Putin and Zelensky, it was necessary for the delegations to formulate a specific document as a result of joint work. “Not a set of ideas, but a specific written document. Then it will be the turn of such a meeting,»,— he emphasized. Peskov also noted that Putin “never refused” from a meeting with Zelensky and that it is “hypothetically possible.”
Negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv as part of the delegations took place both in person and via video link, but the parties have not yet been able to develop a unified approach to the terms of the settlement. The greatest progress was achieved during the meeting of representatives of Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul on March 29. Then Kyiv handed over to Moscow proposals for a peace treaty providing for security guarantees for Ukraine, their non-proliferation to the Crimea and Donbass, and the country's refusal to seek to return these territories by force. Moscow, in turn, promised to reduce military activity near Kyiv and Chernigov.
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However, after the withdrawal of Russian troops from these directions and the publication of materials from Bucha, Kyiv tried to interrupt the negotiations, and also handed over to Moscow a new draft of peace agreements, which differed from that presented in Istanbul, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, explained that the process became more complicated after the events in Bucha, Mariupol, Volnovakha and the Kyiv region. “The emotional background in which the negotiations are taking place today gives grounds for a slightly different look at the situation as a whole,” — he said.
Zelensky, commenting on the Kremlin’s statements about the need to agree on settlement documents as part of the delegations before the meeting of the presidents, admitted the idea that such a meeting might not happen. “You need to pull yourself together and work. I have no other choice. <…> But it may happen that there will be no meeting. It may not be her,— he said.
In late April, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow had lost confidence in the Ukrainian negotiators, as Kyiv was changing its position and demonstrating a “non-independent” attitude to the fact of the negotiations themselves, and invited Ukraine to find a “realistic option” agreement with Russia.
On May 9, the head of the Russian delegation, presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky, said that the negotiations were being conducted remotely. Peskov also spoke about the fact that they are going, but “sluggishly and ineffectively.”
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