Russia believes Ukraine is making a mockery of peace talks – RIA
Ukraine wants to make a spectacle out of peace negotiations, instead of earnestly pursuing a diplomatic resolution to the current conflict, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported on Thursday, citing a Moscow source.
The report comes after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said on Wednesday that he would like to have negotiations with Russia in “a public format,” rather than behind closed doors.
“Russia has not changed the position that it is open to negotiations – unlike Kiev, which first requested [negotiations], then abandoned them, and now is ready to renew them but is putting forward inappropriate preconditions,” the source was quoted as saying.
“Kiev’s new idea of ‘public’ negotiations, which is an attempt to turn diplomacy into a TV show, proves the unseriousness of its intentions.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov replied on Thursday that the notion of public negotiations “doesn’t exist.”
“One thing is obvious: The Ukrainian side doesn’t want any talks,” he added.
Peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine began shortly after Moscow launched its military operation in the neighboring state in late February. However, meaningful talks fell apart by April, with Moscow accusing Kiev of sabotaging the process.
Last month, Zelensky signed a decree about “the impossibility” of negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Ukrainian leader seemingly reversed his position last week, saying that Kiev is ready for talks under several conditions, such as the “restoration of [Ukraine’s] territorial integrity” and the compensation of damages by Moscow. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Grushko called these demands “unacceptable.”