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Russia explains why Ukraine peace talks may fail

Should the “pumping” of Ukraine with weaponry continue, the negotiation between Moscow and Kiev are destined to produce no result, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned on Tuesday. The top diplomat made the remarks during a press conference following talks with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Moscow.

“If [the pumping of Ukraine with weapons] continues, of course, the negotiations will hardly have any result, but I repeat once again, we are committed to a negotiated solution, we are also committed to ceasefires, which we are staging daily, declaring humanitarian corridors,” Lavrov said.

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While Kiev initially demonstrated a readiness to negotiate after Russia launched its large-scale military operation in Ukraine late in February, their subsequent behavior has suggested they are “not that interested in talks,” Lavrov added.

“But how the Ukrainian delegation behaved at the talks, how President [Volodymyr] Zelensky himself behaved, refusing to confirm that they received our new proposals a week ago, I spoke about this more than once, this, of course, is disappointing,” the diplomat went on.

Russia attacked its neighbor following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered Minsk Protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

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