Russia ‘sees no prospects for negotiations on Ukraine for now’

Russia says it currently sees no prospects for talks on Ukraine, days after US President Joe Biden said he would sit with Russian President Vladimir Putin “if he’s looking for a way to end the war.”

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that he agreed about the need for peace but there was no prospect of negotiations until Moscow achieved the goals of its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

He made the remarks days after Biden said he was ready to talk to Putin if there was an interest in ending the war on Ukraine.

“I’m prepared to speak with Mr. Putin if, in fact, there is an interest in him deciding he’s looking for a way to end the war,” Biden said on November 1, adding, “He hasn’t done that yet.”

“If that’s the case, in consultation with my French and my NATO friends, I’ll be happy to sit down with Putin to see what he has in mind,” Biden said, stressing again, “He hasn’t done that yet.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said in an interview on Monday that the war in Ukraine would almost certainly end with diplomacy and negotiations, and that “just and durable peace” was needed.

“That the outcome should be a just and durable peace… one can agree with this,” Peskov said. “But as for the prospects for some kind of negotiations, we don’t see them at the moment, we have repeatedly said so.”

Asked what would have to happen for such prospects to materialize, Peskov said, “The goals of the special military operation must be achieved. Russia must and will achieve the goals it has set.”

Russia’s war on Ukraine started in late February, with Moscow saying that it was aimed at defending the pro-Russia population in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk against persecution by Kiev. Putin said at the time that the offensive was meant to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.

Russian officials have repeatedly said they will not negotiate over territory overtaken by Russia, including four regions that Moscow has already annexed.

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