Medinsky: Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine are frozen by the Ukrainian side

Russia is ready to continue negotiations with Ukraine. Freezing the negotiation process is an initiative of Kyiv, said on Sunday, May 22, Vladimir Medinsky, presidential aide and head of the Russian delegation at the Russian-Ukrainian talks.

“For our part, we are ready to continue the dialogue. But I will emphasize once again: the ball for the continuation of peace negotiations is on the Ukrainian side. Freezing the talks is entirely the initiative of Ukraine,” Medinsky said.

According to him, “Russia has never refused negotiations, including at the highest level. This has been repeatedly confirmed [президент РФ] Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. The only question is that in order for a summit meeting between the presidents to take place, serious preparations are needed, ”said Medinsky.

That is, he clarified, documents of a high degree of readiness are needed. “Heads of state should meet in order to reach final agreements and sign documents, and not to take pictures,” the aide to the Russian president said.

He said that a month ago Russia handed over to the Ukrainian side a draft treaty, in which a number of fundamental positions had already been agreed upon. “We intended to move on. However, since then there has been no desire to continue the dialogue on the part of Ukraine. They did not even officially confirm the agreed draft treaty by them. We disagreed that our counterparts took a break, ”Medinsky said.

“They (Ukraine – TASS note) are in no hurry, apparently. The ball is completely on their side, ”said the assistant to the President of Russia.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, in a telephone conversation with Mario Draghi on Saturday evening, declaredthat negotiations would take place only when Ukraine regains the territories that Russia has taken from it since the beginning of the war, specifying that “his country is not yet ready for a real peace process.”

He expressed hope that Italy would continue to support the Ukrainian liberation struggle with defense systems, while urging Draghi to comply with Kyiv’s request for EU membership, “despite the resistance of some members EUstarting from Berlin.

Zelensky had in mind, however, not only Germany and France, since both countries are extremely cautious about this prospect. In fact, French Minister for European Affairs Clement Bonne made it clear on Sunday: “We have to be honest. To say that Ukraine will join the EU in six months, in a year or two, would be a lie. It is not true. It will undoubtedly take 15-20 years, it’s a long time.” And he added even more categorically, explaining the position of Paris, as Emmanuel Macron recently put it, causing discomfort in Kyiv: “I don’t want to … sell delusions and lies to Ukrainians. If we say “welcome to the EU” to the Ukrainians, but you haven’t read the treaty, it says “will be done in 15 years” in small print.

Negotiations began after Russian troops entered Ukraine on February 24 but failed to quickly occupy the capital. In March, the foreign ministers of the two countries met in Turkey, after which the delegations held talks in Istanbul, but also without success.

Member of the Ukrainian delegation at the talks Mikhail Podolyak declared last Tuesday that talks had been “suspended” as Russia redeployed its forces and now focused on a “special operation” – as it calls the war – in eastern Ukraine.

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