Despite provocations, Moscow will continue talks with Kyiv, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.
“Despite all provocations,” the top diplomat said, “the Russian delegation will continue the negotiation process, promoting our draught agreement that clearly and fully explains our initial key positions and demands.”
Lavrov noted that Kyiv had presented a draught agreement on April 6, which differed from provisions recorded at a March 29 meeting in Istanbul. According to Russia’s top diplomat, the Ukrainian authorities’ inability to reach agreements indicated their intention to prolong and even undermine the negotiations. “We see it as proof that the Kyiv regime is under the control of Washington and its allies, who are pressuring [Ukrainian] President Zelensky to continue military operations,” Lavrov concluded.
On March 29, the Russian and Ukrainian delegations met again in Istanbul. Following the meeting, Vladimir Medinsky, the head of the Russian delegation, stated that Kyiv had presented written proposals for a settlement between the parties. Medinsky stated that Moscow would consider the proposals and launch its own initiatives, while Russian troops would reduce their presence in the Kyiv and Chernigov areas. Furthermore, Moscow suggested that a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky be held concurrently with the signing of a peace treaty by the two countries’ foreign ministers.