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Russia ready for peace talks with Ukraine, but on its conditions – ambassador

Andrey Kelin said that Russia needs Ukraine not to pose a threat to it, and that Russians and Ukrainians are treated as representatives of the rest of the world
Russia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Andrei Kelin Yuri Mikhailenko/TASS
Russia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Andrei Kelin
© Yuri Mikhailenko/TASS

LONDON, May 28. /TASS/. Russia is ready for peace talks with Ukraine but it will not give up its conditions, Russian Ambassador to Great Britain Andrey Kelin said in an interview with the BBC on Sunday.

"We want peace, but on certain conditions, of course. For us, two things are important. That there will be no threat from Ukraine to Russia - this is one thing. And second, that Russians in Ukraine will be treated like all other nations in the world. Like French people are being treated in Belgium, or like Italians and Germans are being treated in Switzerland, not differently. <…> That’s a grave violation of the Human Rights Declaration and of all documentation," Kelin said, as he described the developments in Ukraine in recent years as "extreme nationalism."

According to Kelin, Russia’s current military purpose is to liberate the Donbass from the occupation. He dismissed thinking that Ukraine may prevail as "a big idealistic mistake."

"We can make peace tomorrow, if the Ukrainian side is prepared to negotiate, but at the moment there are no preconditions for that, I am afraid, because the president of Ukraine has prohibited any negotiations," the Russian diplomat maintained, adding that he didn’t believe that simply freezing the conflict was a good idea. "It will not make a platform for a stable and long-term peace in Europe," Kelin explained.

The envoy reiterated the Russian nuclear doctrine does not envisage using nukes in the conflict in Ukraine. However, Kelin said that he was worried about a continued escalation of the conflict as he referred to weapons supplies to Kiev currently being ramped up.