Russia’s lead negotiator in peace talks with Ukraine said on Sunday that Moscow is willing to resume negotiations, but Kyiv has to make the first step, state news agency TASS reported.
“For our part, we are ready to continue the dialogue. But I will emphasize once again: that the ball for the continuation of peace talks is in Ukraine’s court. Freezing the talks is entirely Ukraine’s initiative,” Vladimir Medinsky said.
He added “Russia has never refused negotiations, including at the highest level. [Russia’s President] Vladimir Putin has repeatedly confirmed this. The only question is that in order for a summit meeting to take place between the presidents, serious preparations are needed.”
Talks between the delegations of Russia and Ukraine have been held regularly since Moscow’s forces invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Ukraine’s lead negotiator Mykhaylo Podolyak said on Thursday: “Do not offer us a ceasefire – this is impossible without total Russian troops withdrawal. Ukraine is not interested in the new ‘Minsk’ and the war renewal in a few years. Until Russia is ready to fully liberate occupied territories, our negotiating team is weapons, sanctions, and money.”