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Ukraine war: Russia’s Lavrov rejects Zelenskyy’s ‘peace formula’

Russia’s foreign minister rejected Volodymyr Zeleskyy’s “peace formulation” as a basis of negotiations.

A report from Russian news agency RIA states that Sergei Lavrov thinks Ukraine is not ready to engage in real peace talks.

RIA was also informed by Mr Lavrov that Ukraine’s goal of driving Russia from eastern Ukraine and Crimea using Western assistance was “an illusion”.

This comes only a few days after Mr Lavrov seemed to end any immediate prospects of peace negotiations in the 10-month-old conflict.


He spoke to Tass late Monday night.

“The point is clear: Fulfill them for your own benefit. The Russian army will decide the issue otherwise.

His comments came just hours after Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, had said he would negotiate “with all parties about acceptable solutions” and that Kyiv was to blame for the inability to make progress.

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Mykhailo Podolyak was furious at Mr Putin’s comments, saying that the Russian leader needed to “return to reality”.

Later that day, Ukraine’s position seemed to change. Dmytro Kuleba, the country’s foreign minister, suggested that a summit be held before February 31st by the United Nations. Russia could attend, as it was facing prosecution for war crimes.

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For months, there have not been any serious peace negotiations in the conflict and there is no end in sight for the fighting.

Millions of Ukrainians fled Ukraine, and millions are still without electricity because of Russian attacks on critical infrastructure.

However, Ukraine insists that it will not negotiate until all Russian soldiers have left its territory. Russia however insists that it will continue fighting until it achieves their goals.

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Mr Putin has said that he believes the military action is “defending our national interests…protect(ing) our citizens” and that any negotiations must be on his terms.

This would be incompatible, Ukraine claims. It would require Ukraine to bow to Russian demands and accept Mr Putin’s annexed of four Ukrainian regions.


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