Allegations that Russia is seeking peace talks with Ukraine as a ploy for a military build-up are false, Russia’s foreign minister has said. Sergey Lavrov was responding to statements to that effect from top officials in Kiev, including President Vladimir Zelensky.
The accusations are “ridiculous and unpleasant, because [those who make them] blatantly lie,” the minister told journalists on Thursday during a press conference.
“We never asked for any negotiations. But we always stated that if somebody has an interest in a negotiated settlement, we are ready to listen,” he stressed.
In October, President Zelensky said during a virtual speech to the European Council that Russia was “manipulating the negotiations issue” due to Kiev’s battlefield successes. He went on to claim that Moscow was calling for dialogue, “which it rejected itself by starting a war against Ukraine and all of you, the entire Europe,” while rejecting “dozens of our proposals” for peace.