Russia Says Ukraine Isn’t “Ready for Dialogue” – Hope for a new round of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine was dashed on Thursday when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told state media that Ukraine is “not ready for dialogue.”
His comments also suggest that Russia is not willing to budge on any of its original demands for Ukraine even if a new round of negotiations were to begin.
“Obviously, Kyiv is not ready for dialogue,” Lavrov told RIA Novosti.
“Putting forward all sorts of ideas and ‘formulas of peace,’ Zelensky cherishes the illusion of achieving, with the help of the West, the withdrawal of our troops from the Russian territory of Donbas, Crimea, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson region, the payment of reparations by Russia, the turnout ‘with confession to international tribunals’ and the like.”
Lavrov said that Moscow would not talk to anybody “under such conditions” and even went as far as accusing the government in Kyiv of controlling and suppressing dissent – something Russian legislators have actively worked towards through new laws implemented following the announcement of Putin’s “special military operation” in February.
“It is difficult to say whether adequate politicians remained in the territories controlled by the Kyiv regime, especially given the widespread practice of suppressing dissent and extrajudicial reprisals against dissent. Can some sane political figure appear in Kyiv later? Wait and see,” Lavrov continued.
What Zelenskyy Is Proposing for Ukraine War
Zelenskyy’s 10-point peace plan, first announced in November during the G-20 summit, contains several provisions that Russia has explicitly rejected.
Under the plan, Russian forces would need to leave the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, food security would be guaranteed by ensuring all Ukrainian grain exports can go ahead, and energy security would be achieved with price restrictions on Russian energy resources.
As part of the energy security proposal, Zelenskyy also demands that Russia assist with the reconstruction of Ukraine’s power infrastructure.
All prisoners and deportees must also be freed by the Russian side, under the plan, and Ukraine’s territorial integrity must be guaranteed – which would include returning Crimea to Ukrainian control.
Along with a plethora of other proposals, ranging from a special tribunal to prosecute Russian war criminals to new security guarantees for Ukraine, and Zelenskyy’s plan is the complete opposite of what Russia has demanded repeatedly throughout the conflict.
While the proposal isn’t new, it hit the headlines again this week when Zelenskyy revealed that he had discussed his ideas with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.