17 Feb 2022 10:21 pm
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy complains that the Kremlin would not agree to a phone call or a meeting between him and Vladimir Putin. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov points out that Ukraine does not offer any relevant topics of conversation.
On February 17, Vladimir Zelensky criticized Russia’s alleged lack of willingness to talk. The head of state of Ukraine announced that in February his office asked the Kremlin for a telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin.
“From time to time, Ukraine, as a responsible country, sends a request to the administration of the Russian President. Anytime when it comes to escalation risks, information about such risks, information about a troop deployment or the like.”
Although no request from Ukraine is left unanswered, Selensky complained that there was never a bilateral meeting or a bilateral phone call. The Russian leadership even rejects mediation proposals from other countries to organize a meeting between him and Putin.
“Many countries offer themselves as a platform for discussion. We are interested. I have not yet answered any country negatively.”
When asked by the Interfax news agency, Dmitri Peskov rejected the accusation that Russia was unwilling to talk. True, the Kremlin spokesman confirmed that Ukraine had repeatedly suggested holding a meeting at the highest level. However, the purpose of these signals and requests remains unclear.
“Every time Kiev couldn’t answer the simple question: why? for what purpose?”
According to Peskov, the government in Kiev only wants to talk about the Donbass conflict region in eastern Ukraine. Interfax quoted the Kremlin spokesman as saying:
“We say: ‘You should discuss the Donbass issue with the Donbass residents. Do you have any questions for us on other issues?’ They are silent.”
Most recently, Turkish head of state Recep Tayyip Erdoğan proposed organizing a trilateral meeting of the presidents of Turkey, Russia and Ukraine in Ankara or Istanbul. He made the event dependent on a commitment from the Russian head of state.
For weeks, the West has been warning of an allegedly planned Russian offensive against Ukraine. The Kremlin regularly denies having any such plans at all. For its part, Moscow is demanding written guarantees from Washington and NATO that the western military alliance will not expand further east.
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