Lavrov: No Response From Ukraine on Russia's Diplomatic Proposals
13:42 GMT 22.04.2022 (Updated: 14:48 GMT 22.04.2022)
© BelTARussia-Ukraine peace negotiations in Belarus
Commenting on the Russia-Ukraine talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov judged that Kiev's statements indicate lack of Ukraine's interest in negotiations with Moscow.
The peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are stalling as Moscow has not received any response from Kiev regarding Russia's recent diplomatic proposals, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.
"When President [Volodymyr] Zelensky was asked to comment on yet another version of the Russian proposals, he said he had not received anything," Lavrov explained. "The extent to which he is in control of the situation is not up to me to judge, but it's just a clear characteristic of where the process that we call 'negotiations' is now."
Earlier in the week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Zelensky's claim that he had not received any proposals raised eyebrows in Moscow. According to the Kremlin, the Russian side had sent to Ukraine a draft document with "clear, elaborated wording."
Regarding the negotiations on security guarantees for Ukraine, Lavrov said that Moscow was not holding talks with anyone on this subject. However, the minister noted that Russia does not oppose Ukraine's choice of guarantor countries.
Zelensky earlier mentioned that Ukraine sent its proposals to the guarantor countries, which include the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Turkey and Germany.
Lavrov suggested that judging by the statements coming from President Zelensky and his advisers, Ukraine is not interested in negotiations with Russia.
The top Russian official also said that Moscow will not tolerate ultimatums from Ukraine, in response to Zelensky's statement about the termination of negotiations with Russia in the event of the elimination of Ukrainian forces at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol.
Since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine on 24 February, Moscow and Kiev have held several rounds of negotiations in different locations, including Belarus and Turkey. However, the peace process is going "slowly" by Moscow's estimation, with Ukraine and the Western countries staging what Russia deems as provocations aimed to undermined the negotiations.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the West is trying to prevent Moscow and Kiev from striking a peace deal, because it seeks escalation of the conflict and not a settlement.