Putin to Michel: “Only then will I speak directly with Zelensky…”

On April 22, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin had a long telephone conversation with President of the European Council Charles Michel, the Kremlin press service reported on Friday. Michel asked Putin for direct talks with the President of Ukraine and for a ceasefire for Orthodox Easter.

The phone call followed Michel’s visit to Ukraine on Wednesday. “Had a telephone conversation with President Putin. Strongly urged him to immediately ensure humanitarian access and safe exit from Mariupol and other besieged cities, especially on the occasion of Orthodox Easter,” he tweeted.

In addition, according to the head of the European Council, in a conversation with Putin, he confirmed the negative attitude EU to a special operation in Ukraine.

The President of the Russian Federation replied to the President of the European Council that he would hold direct talks with his Ukrainian counterpart if the current negotiations between the two countries yield clear results. At the same time, V. Putin emphasized in a conversation with Ch. Michel that Kyiv is demonstrating its unwillingness to seek generally accepted solutions and accused the Ukrainian side of being “unpredictable” in the negotiations.

Kremlin press service commented conversation of the parties

“Responding to Charles Michel’s call for direct contact with Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Russia reaffirmed the well-known position on this matter, noting that such a possibility depends, in particular, on concrete results in the ongoing negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian representatives, during which the Ukrainian side shows inconsistency and is not ready to seek mutually acceptable solutions. The parties also discussed the development of the situation in Ukraine. “Charles Michel informed about contacts with the Ukrainian leadership during his recent trip to Kyiv. Vladimir Putin outlined his fundamental assessments in connection with a special military operation to protect the republics of Donbass,” the message says.

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