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No plans for pauses in fighting if talks on Ukraine begin, Lavrov says

The Russian foreign minister emphasized that the situation on the ground had changed significantly

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. Russia will not announce pauses in fighting if new talks on Ukraine begin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Sputnik, Govorit Moskva and Komsomolskaya Pravda radio stations.

He also noted that the Ukrainian authorities could not be trusted. "First, he (Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky - TASS) banned himself from holding talks," Lavrov noted, adding: "Second, they cannot be trusted."

"We have said that we are ready for talks but contrary to the Istanbul story, we will not announce any pauses in fighting for the duration of talks. The process must continue," he said.

Lavrov emphasized that the situation on the ground had changed significantly. "These realities need to be taken into account. When I say 'realities,' I mean not only the line of engagement and military positions but also the amendments to our Constitution that concern our four new regions, which are our primordial lands. This should be clear to everyone," he added.

"It’s perfectly clear that they don’t understand it. Nor are they prepared to search for any potential compromises. It’s only the Zelensky formula for them, with no alternatives," Lavrov concluded.