MOSCOW, May 25. /TASS/. The statement made by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky who said his country could return to negotiations with Moscow only after Russia has pulled back forces to where they were before February 24 casts a shadow over Kiev’s desire for a peaceful solution, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said on Wednesday.
"Ukraine has been actively involved in negotiations almost since the start of the special military operation without putting forward any conditions, and the fact that they have now put forward certain conditions makes us question the sincerity of their push for a peaceful settlement," the Russian diplomat said, adding that Zelensky’s statement could hardly be considered positive.
In an interview with the Japanese public broadcaster NHK earlier on Wednesday, Zelensky said Kiev would sit down for negotiations with Moscow only after it regained the territories it has lost since February 24, when Russia launched its special military operation. Back on Monday, Rudenko told reporters that Russia would be ready to return to the negotiating table with Ukraine as soon as Kiev showed a constructive attitude and reacted to Moscow’s proposals.