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Russia ready for dialogue on normalization of relations with Ukraine — upper house speaker

It should be a serious and meaningful dialogue on the basis of mutual respect, Valentina Matviyenko said

MOSCOW, May 23. /TASS/. Russia is interested in normalizing relation with Ukraine and is ready for dialogue with it, speaker of Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house Valentina Matviyenko said on Thursday.

"We are interested in and are ready for dialogue, including between the parliaments, but it should be a serious and meaningful dialogue on the basis of mutual respect. We will not accept any conditions for the beginning of such dialogue," she said.

She noted that it is not right to comment political developments in Ukraine right now when that country’s new president, Vladimir Zelensky, has been in office for only four days. "It is deeds that matter. Let us wait and see what is done," she said.

Nevertheless, she said Zelensky’s decision to dissolve the Verkhovna Rada, or Ukraine’s parliament, was quite justified but refused to say anything about the legitimacy of this step.

"I don’t know if it violates law or not, it is up to the Ukrainians to decide. But I think this decision was justified because by voting to him (Zelensky - TASS), people voted for changes, for new authorities, for new faces," she said. "But it is too early to speak about the future Rada, would-be elections and how they are organized. Let us wait and see."

According to Matviyenko, the current Verkhovna Rada speaker, Andrei Parubiy, is a "non-handshakable man" because of his involvement in the state coup in Ukraine in 2014.