Kremlin outlines why solo talks with Ukraine are ‘impossible’
Russia is open to negotiations over Ukraine, but any agreement with Kiev would have little credibility because it could be rescinded by the West, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday. This means that any possible settlement should be primarily discussed with the US, he added.
A unilateral diplomatic engagement with Ukraine is unlikely to succeed because “the deciding vote rests with Washington,” the spokesman told Rossiya-1 TV channel.
“It’s just impossible to discuss something, for example, with Kiev,” he stated. According to Peskov, while Russia could try to reach some agreements with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, “based on what happened in March, these agreements are worthless, because they can be instantly canceled upon orders” from outside actors.
The Kremlin press secretary was referring to several rounds of talks that took place in late February and March after Russia launched its military operation against the neighboring state. At the time, these diplomatic efforts failed to cease hostilities.
Meanwhile, Peskov signaled that Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready for talks over Ukraine.
“The president has repeatedly said he is open to the negotiation process… Whether they are ready or not, but the West should know and hear this,” Peskov reiterated.
The official also suggested that Putin and US President Joe Biden could hold negotiations if Washington is willing to take heed of Moscow’s security concerns that were outlined by the Russian Foreign Ministry in the draft documents on security guarantees released in mid-December last year prior to the Ukraine conflict.
Earlier this month, Zelensky signed a decree on Ukraine officially rejecting peace talks with the Russian president. The move came just hours after Putin signed agreements on the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions joining Russia following referendums that saw overwhelming public support for the move. At the time, Moscow maintained that it is still ready to look for a negotiated solution to the conflict, adding, however, that “it takes two parties to negotiate.”