Zelensky called the only topic for possible negotiations with Putin

Zelensky said that he “in principle does not accept any meeting with anyone from the Russian Federation” other than Putin, and only on the condition that it discusses the cessation of hostilities in Ukraine

Vladimir Zelensky (at screen)

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking via video link to those gathered at the Ukrainian House in Davos, said that the only Russian politician with whom he is ready to meet— this is President Vladimir Putin; such a meeting can take place only on the condition that it discusses the cessation of hostilities, he stressed.

“In principle, I do not accept any meeting with anyone from the Russian Federation, except for the President of the Russian Federation . And only if there is only one question on the table,— he added.

Zelensky also said that the organization of any negotiations with Russia is becoming increasingly difficult, reports Reuters. At the same time, he pointed out the need to intensify the process of exchanging prisoners. “We don’t need the Russian military, we only need ours. We are ready to change even tomorrow, and this exchange, it is very important, — said Zelensky (quoted by TASS), noting that international organizations such as the UN and other countries should be involved in the process.

Zelensky has repeatedly stated that he is ready to personally speak with Putin, emphasizing that such a meeting should take place without intermediaries. On May 21, he said that the agenda for such negotiations and the very fact of their holding would depend on the time of their behavior and the actions of Moscow— including in the territories of Ukraine controlled by the Russian military and in relation to Ukrainian servicemen who left the Azovstal plant. Ukraine expects to exchange them; At the same time, the Russian State Duma is discussing the issue of a ban on the exchange of “Nazi criminals” so that they can be brought to justice (the Russian authorities have repeatedly called the Azov battalion a neo-Nazi association; its symbols have been included by the Ministry of Justice in the list of extremist materials).

The press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, noted that Putin never refused a meeting with Zelensky and that it was “hypothetically possible.” In March and early April, he said that in order to hold a face-to-face meeting of the presidents, it was necessary that the delegations of the two countries as a result of joint work, a specific document was formulated. “Not a set of ideas, but a specific written document. Then it will be the turn of such a meeting,»,— he emphasized.

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On May 13, Peskov, commenting on the possibility of direct negotiations between Putin and Zelensky, said: “Here the position has not changed at all. You are well aware of the position of the Russian president, no one a priori refuses the possibility of such a meeting, but it must be prepared.

The Russian and Ukrainian delegations held several face-to-face and remote meetings, but last week both Ukraine and Russia announced the suspension of discussions of the peace agreement. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said that Kyiv “practically withdrew” from the peace talks, and adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak said that after the last face-to-face meeting in Istanbul “there are no changes, there is no progress.”

Article content Authors Tags Persons

Vladimir Zelensky

Politician, President of Ukraine

January 25, 1978

Vladimir Putin

Politician, President of Russia

October 7, 1952

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