February 8, 2023

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We can agree with the United States on the need for peace in Ukraine, but no talks at the moment

We can agree with the United States on the need for peace in Ukraine, but no talks at the moment

(Reuters) – Russia said on Tuesday it could agree with the United States on the need for lasting peace in Ukraine, but played down the prospect of negotiations until it achieved the goals of its “special military operation”.

Both US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have said they are open to diplomacy over Ukraine, but no meeting was organized between the two leaders and neither side agreed on terms for the talks.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview on Monday that the conflict in Ukraine, now in its tenth month, will almost certainly end with diplomacy and negotiations, and that a “just and lasting peace” is needed.

Responding to Blinkin’s comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he agreed with the need for peace.

He said “that the result should be a just and lasting peace – one can agree with this”. “But as for the prospects for some kind of negotiation, we don’t see it at the moment, we’ve said it more than once.”

In response to a question about what needs to happen in order for such possibilities to materialize, he said: “The goals of the special military operation must be achieved. Russia must achieve the goals it has set and will achieve them.”

Russia’s goals in Ukraine are not fully defined, and appear to be shifting as its forces face setbacks on the battlefield, though it has said it will not give up occupied territories in southern and eastern Ukraine.

Kyiv has ruled out ceding any land to Russia in exchange for peace, and demands that Russia return all the lands it has occupied and occupied, including Crimea and the lands occupied by Russia or its proxies since 2014.

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(Writing by Caleb Davis; Editing by William McLean)