Kremlin: ‘No significant progress’ in setting Putin, Zelensky meeting
The Kremlin on Monday said that no significant progress has been made in talks with Ukraine to have Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meet as Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine progresses through its fourth week.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the two sides must engage in discussions regarding a potential meeting between Putin and Zelensky before such an encounter can occur, adding that “no significant progress” has been made on that front thus far.
“For us to speak of a meeting between the two presidents, homework has to be done. Talks have to be held and their results agreed upon,” Peskov said, according to a Reuters report. “There has been no significant progress so far.”
Peskov sounded a similar note last week, rejecting reports of progress before saying “when there’s progress, we’ll tell you.”
Russia and Ukraine have engaged in a number of peace talks since the invasion began late last month, but no major breakthroughs have occurred.
Moscow has said that Kyiv is hindering discussions by putting forth plans that Russia is opposed to, according to Reuters. Ukraine, however, has said it is ready to engage in talks but emphasized that it will not agree to ultimatums proposed by Russia.
Peskov on Monday also suggested that Russia was more willing to engage in talks than Ukraine.
“Those [countries] who can should use their influence over Kyiv to make it more accommodating and construction at these talks,” Peskov said, according to Reuters.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday said “there’s still a long way to go” in the cease-fire talks between Russia and Ukraine.
“There are several issues in dispute, some of them fundamental,” he added.
Peskov’s comments come as Russia’s forces are taking aim at the Ukrainian city of Mariupol — but Kyiv is rebuffing the offensive. Ukrainian officials on Monday rejected Russia’s demand that it surrender in Mariupol.
In response to Russia’s demand that Ukrainians “lay down your arms” and receive “guaranteed safe passage out of Mariupol,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said “there can be no question of any surrender, laying down of arms.”
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