‘Door not closed’ to Russian-Ukrainian peace talks – Kremlin

Russia and Ukraine still have a chance to resume peace talks, Kremlin says said Thursday, contradicting earlier comments by the head of Moscow diplomacy.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said talks with Kyiv were still possible a day after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said such talks “made no sense” nearly five months after the Russia’s invasion of its pro-Western neighbour.

Echoing Lavrov during his visit to Iran on Wednesday, Putin accused Ukraine of not wanting to respect previous agreements.

“Neither the president nor the minister ever said that the door to negotiations was closed,” Peskov told state news agency RIA Novosti.

The Kremlin had previously accused Ukraine of “lacking the will” to continue the talks and of failing to respond to Moscow’s draft peace accord since April.

Ukraine and Russia held talks this week mediated by Turkey and the UN to unblock key grain exports, shipments of which from Ukrainian ports have been disrupted by the war.

In his comments on Wednesday, Lavrov also warned that Russia had extended its “geographical targets” beyond the pro-Russian breakaway republics of eastern Ukraine and the southern regions captured by Moscow, linking the change of supply of Western weapons to Kyiv.

Despite its claims, the Institute for the Study of War assessed that Russia’s current offensive to capture the remaining major population centers in the eastern Ukrainian territory known as Donbas “will likely culminate in the coming weeks”.

Russia news

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