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Kremlin to ponder Zelensky’s proposal on new talks format

The Kremlin will study the proposal, according to the spokesman
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov Vitaly Nevar/TASS/
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov
© Vitaly Nevar/TASS/

MOSCOW, July 8. /TASS/. Russia is not ready to give a response to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s offer on holding talks to settle the crisis in Donbass, to be mediated by the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France, but will definitely study this proposal, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

"I’m not ready to answer now, this is an absolutely new format," Peskov said. "We need to understand if the meeting has any prospects and what kind of a format is being suggested," Peskov explained.

"This is a new initiative, and certainly, it will be considered, but now I cannot give any response," he said.

Speaking on the possible US participation in the talks, Peskov noted Washington is not a party to the Normandy format (Russia, Germany, Ukraine and France) and its representatives were not signatories to the Minsk agreements. Earlier, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky suggested meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Minsk and that the encounter should be mediated by the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

The Ukrainian leader said the sides needed to discuss the issue of "who owns Crimea and who is not present in Donbass." Zelensky suggested that the talks should involve US President Donald Trump, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

On Kiev-Moscow TV linkup initiative

The initiative of two TV channels, Ukraine’s NewsOne and Russia’s Rossiya-1, to organize a TV bridge "deserves high marks," according to the Kremlin spokesman.

"This initiative of two TV channels can only be welcomed from our point of view," Peskov said.

Despite all "political and diplomatic troubles between the two countries," nobody has cancelled communication of the two peoples. "This communication continues, directly and indirectly. That is why, we believe this initiative deserves high marks," Peskov stressed.

The initiative to hold a Kiev-Moscow TV linkup was announced on Sunday, July 7, by TV host Dmitry Kiselyov during his Vesti Nedeli (News of the Week) program on Rossiya-1 TV channel. The program was meant to be hosted jointly with Ukraine’s NewsOne TV channel, which is part of a media group owned by Chairman of the Political Council of Ukraine’s Opposition Platform - For life party Viktor Medvedchuk.

Some Ukrainian parties have strongly dismissed the TV linkup idea. The NewsOne TV channel announced on Monday that the program was expected to inspire politicians to hold an open dialogue for the sake of peace.

Ukraine’s Newsone TV channel later cancelled the Kiev-Moscow TV bridge citing threats of physical violence against its employees.