Ukraine war: Moscow says Kyiv’s draft peace deal unacceptable, reveals US role
- Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow sees Kyiv's departure from demands put forth at talks in Turkey as a “manifestation” of the fact that the Ukrainian regime is controlled by the US and its allies.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday accused Ukrainian negotiators of departing from the demands Kyiv had put forth during talks in Turkey last month. Stating that Ukraine is not interested in ending the fighting, he said Russia would nonetheless continue talks and press to secure their requirements.
Lavrov said Ukraine on Wednesday presented a draft peace deal to Russia that contained “unacceptable” elements. "Such inability to agree once again highlights Kyiv's true intentions, its position of drawing out and even undermining the talks by moving away from the understandings reached," the Russian foreign minister said.
Lavrov added Moscow sees Kyiv's departure from earlier demands as a “manifestation” of the fact that the latter's regime is “controlled by Washington and its allies”, who are pestering Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to continue “hostilities”.
Russia and Ukraine held their first face-to-face talks in the Turkish city of Istanbul on March 29. The biggest breakthrough in the talks was Moscow’s promise to substantially scale back its troops from around Kyiv and Chernihiv.
Russia is currently under heavy criticism from the West for allegedly committing war crimes in the Ukrainian town of Bucha - located northwest of Kyiv. Last week, at least 20 bodies of people in civilian clothes were found in the town, with Kyiv claiming they were executed by retreating Russian soldiers.
Later, mass graves were also found in Bucha. Moscow has categorically denied the charges, calling them “fake propaganda” by Ukrainian special forces.
The US and its Western allies have hit back at Russia with a slew of sanctions. In the latest move, the US has slapped sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin's two daughters, and Lavrov's wife. The European Union (EU) has also proposed a fresh wave of sanctions, including a ban on Russian coal imports.
During a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) meeting earlier in the day, EU top diplomat Joesp Borrel said the bloc's latest sanctions could be passed later in the day or Friday, and that it would discuss an oil embargo next.
Zelenskyy, meanwhile, has pushed for more sanctions against Russia, saying economic dependence should not come in the way of punishment for civilian executions
(With agency inputs)
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