Russia ready for talks on Ukraine, but without ceasefire - Lavrov
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 24, 2023 (BSS/TASS) - Russia is ready for talks on Ukraine, but will not consider any ceasefire proposals because Moscow has already been deceived once, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
"We are working in the real situation that has developed. <...> In March and April 2022 there were negotiations, everything was already initialed. But two days later there was Bucha (the events in the Ukrainian city of Bucha - TASS), because, I think, someone in London or Washington does not want this war to end," the top diplomat said at a press conference following the 78th session of the UN General Assembly. "That is why now, when we hear about negotiations, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin commented on it, he said very clearly: yes, we are ready for negotiations, but we will not consider any proposals for a ceasefire, because we've considered it once, but you deceived us," Lavrov pointed out.
The top Russian diplomat pointed out that the West had forbidden Kiev to negotiate with Moscow. "We were not only ready, we agreed to negotiate, we reached an agreement in April 2022. And after that, as I understand it, [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky was told: since they agreed so quickly, let's exhaust them," the foreign minister said.
Earlier, Lavrov said that the longer Kiev delays negotiations with Moscow, the harder it will be to negotiate later. According to him, the first step for such contacts should be the abolition of Zelensky's decree prohibiting dialogue with Moscow.