On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the “necessary conditions” for peace talks with Ukraine could arise and acknowledged Kyiv was not ready for negotiations at this time.
“We reached an agreement with them in Istanbul, but they’ve thrown all of that into the bin,” Putin said at a press conference in Sochi, according to Newsweek, referring to peace talks that were held in Istanbul at the end of March. “And now they’re refusing to discuss anything with us.”
In response to Russia’s annexation of the territory it controls in Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree ruling out peace talks with Russia as long as Putin is president. The US has ruled out the idea of pushing Ukraine to the negotiating table and says it’s up to Zelensky when talks will begin.
Putin said Russia is willing to wait until talks can happen. “How can we talk about possible agreements if the other side has no desire to even talk to us? Well, we can wait,” he said. “Maybe some necessary conditions will eventually arise; we have made our good will known.”
While the US and Ukraine have rejected the idea of diplomacy, over the past month, Russian officials have repeatedly stated that they’re open to talks. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said over the weekend that Moscow is “always ready to listen to our Western colleagues if they make another request to organize a conversation.”
Dan Rice, an American serving as an advisor to the commander of Ukraine’s armed forces, recently said that he believes Russia is trying to force negotiations to the “2014 lines,” the positions before the February 24th invasion. But Rice said Ukraine doesn’t want that, and Ukrainian officials have made clear they want to expel Russia from Crimea, which Moscow has controlled since 2014.