MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. Ukraine is still not ready for negotiations with Russia, including on the UN platform, says head of the Russian State Duma Committee on international affairs, member of the Russian delegation to talks with Ukraine Leonid Slutsky.
"Ukraine is still not ready to hold peace negotiations; all the statements made by [Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry] Kuleba are a smoke screen," Slutsky said, commenting on the statement by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres regarding his readiness to mediate at a "peace summit," proposed by Kuleba earlier.
Slutsky underscored that it was the Ukrainian side that withdrew from the Istanbul peace process, instead choosing a path of escalation.
"It wasn’t us who were evading peace talks, it wasn’t us who staged the provocation in Bucha," he added.
Slutsky noted that "the ball is still in Kiev’s court," adding that the goals of the special military operation remain the same, those being the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.
The senior lawmaker also noted that Russia has been calling on the international community to stop weapons supplies to Kiev.
"Russia has repeatedly called on the international community, including at the parliamentary level, asking to stop arming the Kiev regime; however, Western states continue sponsoring and supplying heavy weapons. This is what the UN should pay greater attention to," the lawmaker said.
"And as long as this situation remains, Kiev will continue to misinform the global community regarding its position on negotiations. As long as the entire NATO bloc is fighting against Russia in Ukraine, any so-called peace formulas from [Kiev authorities] will be ineffective," Slutsky concluded.