Russia Opens Door to Ukraine Talks, Rules Out Zelensky

Written by Henrik Rothen

Apr.20 - 2024 9:32 AM CET

Photo: Hussein Eddeb /
Photo: Hussein Eddeb /
Russia Expresses Readiness for Dialogue Over Ukraine Conflict, Zelensky Not Welcome at the Negotiation Table,

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, indicates a willingness to return to the negotiation table over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. However, there's a catch: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is not invited.

According to Lavrov, engaging with Zelensky would be "pointless for many reasons,",

The initial dialogue between Russia and Ukraine commenced in March 2022 in Belarus, followed by another round in Istanbul. Despite these efforts, tangible results have remained elusive.

In Istanbul, Ukraine presented a document outlining potential agreements, including Ukraine's commitment to a neutral status and a promise not to host foreign or nuclear weapons. However, the talks were abruptly halted, with Russia placing the blame squarely on Ukraine's shoulders.

Lavrov's Firm Stance

In a candid interview with several Russian radio stations, Lavrov affirmed Russia's commitment to its military objectives while also asserting an openness to dialogue.

"We are fully convinced that we need to continue the special military operation," he declared, distancing any negotiation possibilities from Ukraine's current leadership. Lavrov's comments reflect a strategic maneuver, attempting to reshape the negotiation landscape by excluding Zelensky, while maintaining that Russia's readiness to negotiate is "indeed the truth."

Turkey has repeatedly put itself forward to host meetings for peace negotiations. Indeed, Turkey has a foot in both camps, as it is a NATO member, but also maintains a good relationship with Russia.

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