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Kremlin: No need for Putin, Zelensky to meet for the sake of meeting

There is a need to make thorough preparations, the Kremlin spokesman said
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov  Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, November 12. /TASS/. A meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Vladimir Zelensky of Ukraine would make little difference if it’s not well-prepared, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, adding that Moscow was focused on the next Normandy Four summit.

"Putin has said himself that he never refuses to hold such meetings but he believes that a meeting for the sake of a meeting will make little difference, there is a need to make thorough preparations," the Russian presidential spokesman pointed out. "We are currently focused on preparations for the Normandy Four processes. In this regard, the parties should fulfill the obligations they took on Minsk," he added.

Nazarbayev’s initiative

When commenting on former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s initiative to arrange a meeting between Putin and Zelensky, Peskov emphasized that Moscow "is always grateful to Nazarbayev and values the efforts of our Kazakh colleagues to help improve Russian-Ukrainian relations." "President Putin is in favor of improving relations and bringing them back to normal but it is impossible as long as Kiev refuses to adopt the same approach," the Kremlin spokesman stressed.

Peskov specified that a telephone conversation between Putin and Nazarbayev had taken place on Monday "by mutual agreement." According to Peskov, Nazarbayev put forward his initiative concerning Putin’s meeting with Zelensky during that phone call.

According to the Russian presidential spokesman, Moscow welcomes the disengagement of forces in southeastern Ukraine. "We consider the disengagement process in Zolotoye and Petrovskoye to be a positive move and believe that the parties need to continue fulfilling their obligations, which is important in terms of preparations for a Normandy Four summit," he noted. Peskov agreed that Russia and Ukraine should work at the bilateral level to restore relations. "It is Ukraine that needs to resolve the situation in the country’s southeast, as it cannot be resolved between Kiev and Moscow because Moscow is not a party to the conflict," Peskov added. "Direct contacts between Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics could facilitate efforts to find a solution," he said.

Special status of Donbass

When asked if the Kremlin believed that the special status of Donbass should be enshrined in Ukrainian laws before a Normandy Four summit took place, the Russian presidential spokesman said that it was one of the obligations that Kiev had to implement. Peskov pointed out that Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated the need for Ukraine to do it in a telephone call on Monday.