Russia is open to discussions about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, but will not entertain any ceasefire proposals, according to Sergey Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister.
Lavrov made this statement during a press conference following the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Lavrov indicated that previous negotiations held in March and April 2022 had reached a point of agreement, but events in Bucha disrupted the process.
He suggested that external influences from London or Washington are hindering the end of the war.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has also commented on the situation, stating clearly that while Russia is ready for talks, they will not consider any ceasefire proposals. Lavrov argued that this stance is due to Moscow feeling deceived in the past.
The Foreign Minister further claimed that the West has discouraged Ukraine from engaging in talks with Russia. He mentioned that an agreement was reached in April 2022, but it seems that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was advised against it.
The last direct meeting between the delegations took place on March 29, 2022, in Istanbul. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, Zelensky has proposed a bilateral meeting with Putin four times, but Moscow has consistently declined, citing a lack of "specific issues" to discuss at the heads-of-state level.
Zelensky has stated that negotiations will become impossible if referendums are held in the occupied regions of Ukraine regarding their inclusion in the Russian Federation. Following the annexation of certain regions, Zelensky signed a decree refusing dialogue with Moscow under Putin's rule.