Russia ready to negotiate with Ukraine to end war, but on ‘Moscow terms’, says Peskov
Amid the ongoing relentless war between Russia and Ukraine, Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Moscow is ready to hold negotiations with Kyiv but with “certain terms and conditions”. While speaking on national television, Peskov asserted that Russian boss Vladimir Putin is ready to negotiate but added the demands would be the only topic on the agenda, RT News reported. Answering a question regarding the possibility of engaging with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, he said, “Yes, of course, we can talk about how our demands will be met.”
Notably, both countries sat for negotiations in late March in Istanbul but did not reach any breakthrough. Since then, a number of initiatives have been taken by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan but the discussions did not yield any positive results. The Kremlin then signalled its readiness to strike a peace deal with Kyiv in early August.
According to Peskov, at the time the two countries were close to settling their differences but no goals were achieved. During the interaction, Russia’s Presidential spokesperson also said Moscow would still achieve the goals of its “special military operation” even if Ukraine declines to end the conflict in a diplomatic way. “The opportunity to win this war is much more important than any situational pause,” adviser to the president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy had said last month.
‘I don’t bite. What are you afraid of?’: Zelenskyy
Notably, since the war started in mid-February this year, three rounds of peace talks were held between the Russian and Ukrainian diplomats. However, the meeting did not yield the desired results. On several occasions, Zelenskyy appealed to his Russian counterpart to hold negotiations but the same has not been echoed by President Vladimir Putin. On March 3, Zelenskyy, during a press conference, called for Putin to meet him, salting the proposal with sarcasm. “Sit down with me to negotiate, just not at 30 meters,” he had said, apparently referring to photos of Putin sitting at one end of an extremely long table when he met with other world leaders in the Kremlin. “I don’t bite. What are you afraid of?” Zelenskyy said at a news conference.