Russia past ‘point of no return’ on Ukraine – top MP
There will be no talks with Ukraine after the Donbass republics and other territories that Kiev considers its own decide to join Russia, Leonid Slutsky, a senior lawmaker and head of the Russian Liberal-Democratic Party, stated on Wednesday.
“Kiev has violated all possible agreements… The point of no return in the negotiation process has long passed,” Slutsky was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.
President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow will respect the outcome of upcoming referendums by former and current Ukrainian regions on becoming part of Russia. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as well as Ukraine’s Kherson and Zaporozhye region are slated to hold votes starting on Friday.
Slutsky, who heads the foreign relations committee in the lower house of Russia’s parliament, predicted that the votes will be in favour of joining Russia, and that after Moscow accepts the requests, there will be no point in further talks with Kiev.
“Negotiations have been out of the question for some time, unfortunately. The West and the junta in Kiev backed by it have declared they were not ready to negotiate,” the lawmaker told journalists, as quoted by TASS news agency.
Officials in Kiev and Western nations have condemned Tuesday’s announcements on upcoming referendums, saying they will not recognize the results. The Ukrainian leadership has pledged to continue its efforts to reclaim the territories.
“Ukraine will solve the Russian question,” Andrey Yermak, the chief of staff of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, declared. He added that it could be done “only by force.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization on Wednesday, saying it was necessary to protect people in Russia-controlled territories from violence by Kiev.