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Moscow to welcome Kiev’s steps to restore ties, says Putin

The Russian leader believes that "the current Ukrainian leadership has taken a lot of steps which are destroying Russian-Ukrainian relations"

MOSCOW, April 22. /TASS/. Kiev has lately taken many steps that destroy relations with Moscow but if Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky wants to start reviving ties, Moscow would welcome it, Russian leader Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

Putin believes that "the current Ukrainian leadership has taken a lot of steps which are destroying Russian-Ukrainian relations."

"However, if President Zelensky wants to start reviving these relations, we will only welcome it," he said during talks with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko.

The Russian president explained that he means an array of issues in the bilateral ties, such as "treatment of the Russian Orthodox Church, essentially an attempt to destroy it <…>, treatment of the Russian language, Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine and Russian citizens living in Ukraine. There have been many steps aimed at destroying our relations which we can only regret," Putin said.