KIEV, December 10. /TASS/. During his phone conversation with US President Joe Biden on Thursday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky reaffirmed his readiness for direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office Andrei Sibiga told the 1+1 TV channel.
"During the phone conversation, Zelensky confirmed to the US president his readiness for direct talks with Putin. Ukraine favors a diplomatic solution for the Donbass conflict," Sibiga said.
In his words, the question of reviewing the Minsk format of peace process was raised during Zelensky’s talks with Biden.
"The Normandy format failed to produce the intended result, which is peace in Ukraine. The Ukrainian side is looking for platforms, mechanisms and formats to unclog the peace process. We are not the ones blocking the Minsk process, we are looking for peace," the official continued.
"Ukraine has presented its clear vision of how progress can be made in this regard, and it will be a subject for discussion via diplomatic channels," he added.
Last May, Zelensky said that he was prepared for a dialogue with Putin, adding that his office had begun negotiations on the issue of organizing such a meeting. Peskov later confirmed that contacts between the two countries were underway, but the process was "tough-going." The Russian president on April 22 said in reply to Zelensky’s proposal for a personal meeting that if the problems of Donbass were to be discussed, the Ukrainian leadership should meet with the leaders of the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics in the first place. Putin believes this should be the first step to be taken towards a settlement in Donbass, while discussions on these issues with any third parties, including Russia might follow only afterwards. He stressed that he would be prepared to receive Zelensky in Moscow at any convenient moment, if the development of bilateral relations was to be considered.