Moscow sets conditions for Putin-Zelensky negotiations — Analysis
Talks between the Russian and Ukrainian leaders shouldn’t be “a meeting for the sake of meeting,” Russian FM Sergey Lavrov has said
There may be a need for direct talks between Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, and the Russian president is ready to take part in such negotiations, but it would require some preparation, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, has said.
“We’ve confirmed today that President Putin isn’t rejecting the idea of a meeting with President Zelensky,”Lavrov spoke after “difficult” talks with Ukrainian FM Dmytro Kuleba in Turkey’s Antalya on Thursday.
He stated that he had reminded his Ukrainian counterpart about Putin and Russia “always ready to meet if we can achieve some added value and solve the problem.”Moscow doesn’t see any use for it. “meeting simply for the sake of meeting,”Minister emphasized.
Zelensky encourages Putin for talks
“Possibly at some point, such necessity will hopefully arise,”Lavrov spoke of possible talks between Putin, Zelensky. “But for this to happen preparatory work must be done along the Belarusian track.”
Since the outbreak of conflict on February 24, the Moscow and Kiev delegations have held three rounds in Minsk. However, they haven’t delivered any significant results yet.
“Our very specific proposals were heard out by the Ukrainian side, and they promised that there would be very specific answers. We’re waiting,”According to the foreign minister.
Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, following a seven-year standoff over Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. French and German-brokered protocols were intended to normalize those areas within Ukraine’s state.
Russia now demands that Ukraine declare itself neutral and vows to not join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked and denies claims that it planned to seize the two republics.