The Russian Foreign Minister said, meet Moscow’s demands, otherwise the matter will be decided by the Russian army.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov delivered an ultimatum to Ukraine: Meet Moscow’s demands — including the handover of Ukrainian territory now controlled by Russia — or the Russian military will decide Ukraine’s fate.
Speaking a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin again said he was open to peace talks – which the US has called disingenuous – Lavrov told Kyiv that it should, for its own “interest”, comply with Moscow’s wishes.
“Our proposals for demilitarization and disarmament of regime-controlled areas, elimination of threats to Russia’s security emanating from there, including our new lands, are known to the enemy,” Lavrov was quoted as saying by the state-run Tass news agency late. Monday.
“The point is simple: do it for your own good. Otherwise, the Russian army will decide the issue.”
In response to a question from TASS for how long the conflict will continue, Lavrov said: “The ball is in the regime’s court, and Washington is behind it.”
On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said again that Moscow was open to negotiations and blamed Kyiv and its Western backers for not holding talks, comments the United States denied as dishonest.
As the war enters its 11th month and despite countless battlefield setbacks for Moscow, Russian forces are engaged in heavy fighting in eastern and southern Ukraine while missile and drone attacks have devastated Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, leaving millions without electricity, heat and water.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly video address on Monday that the situation on the front in the Donbass region is “difficult and painful” and requires all the “strength and focus” of the country. As a result of Russia targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, he said, nearly nine million people are now without electricity. This figure amounts to about a quarter of the population of Ukraine.
Tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians were also killed in cities Russia was razed to the ground, and thousands of soldiers were killed on both sides.
Putin, who hosted leaders of former Soviet states in St Petersburg on Monday for a summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States, made no direct reference to the war in Ukraine while saying threats to the security and stability of the Eurasian region were increasing.
“Unfortunately, the challenges and threats in this field, especially from abroad, are increasing every year,” he said.
Since the February invasion, Ukraine has driven Russian forces from the north, defeating them on the outskirts of the capital, Kyiv, and forcing Russian forces to retreat in the east and south. But Moscow still controls large swathes of the eastern and southern territories that Putin claims it annexed.
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