MOSCOW, May 23. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to discuss with his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky Crimea in the context of border cooperation between the two countries’ regions, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
"Our Ukrainian vis-a-vis, for example, say: we will discuss Crimea. But if to discuss Crimea in the context of developing border cooperation - Russia has border cooperation between regions and foreign countries - if in this context, I’m sure Putin will be ready," Peskov told Moscow. Kremlin. Putin program on Rossiya-1 TV channel.
Meanwhile, he noted that if Kiev sought to "discuss something else than that Crimea is a region of the Russian Federation, then no one would ever discuss this with anyone."
The Kremlin spokesman pointed out that the Constitution clearly says that it’s a crime to speak about the alienation of Russian territories. According to him, "certainly, a lot needs to be worked out and the exchange of views should continue" on a possible meeting between the two leaders. "Let’s see what will be the result. But this exchange of views is indeed taking place," he said.
Earlier, Zelensky said that he was ready for dialogue with Putin, adding that his office had begun talks with Moscow about the meeting. Peskov confirmed later that the two countries still maintained contacts, but said "the process is not easy," and the outline of issues is "rather conceptual than substantive." He added that currently there was no timeframe for a possible meeting.
On April 22, commenting on Zelensky’s proposal to hold a one-on-one meeting, Putin pointed out that, if Donbass issues were in question, the Ukrainian leadership should, first and foremost, hold talks with representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics to resolve the problems in Donbass, and only then can these issues be discussed with officials from third countries, including Russia. Putin added that he was ready to welcome Zelensky in Moscow at any time if he wished to discuss bilateral relations.
Moscow has reiterated that Russia is not a party to the conflict in Donbass, but is a mediator at the talks seeking peace for eastern Ukraine.