Moscow reveals conditions for Putin-Zelensky talks
Before there can be any face-to-face meeting between Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky firm agreements, that the Russian and Ukrainian leaders will sign, must be in place, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.
“As for the Putin-Zelensky talks, nothing has changed here. Nobody needs a meeting for the sake of a meeting,” Peskov pointed out in an interview with Izvestia newspaper on Tuesday.
For Putin and Zelensky to get together or “for the very idea of such a meeting to be on the agenda, a lot of work needs to be done and the foundation for those agreements that can be formalized at the highest level needs to be laid,” he said.
“There’s no talk about it at the moment,” the Kremlin spokesman clarified, referring to the meeting of the Russian and Ukrainian presidents.
Peskov spoke on the same issue on Sunday, telling the Rossiya 1 TV channel that Moscow was ready to talk with Zelensky only “on how our demands are going to be fulfilled” by Kiev.
As for Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, it’s “running its course; all of its goals will be achieved,” he assured.
Zelensky has been making contradicting statements on a meeting with Putin, first saying that he wanted to discuss the fate of the conflict directly with the Russian president and then insisting that no talks with Moscow were possible.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.