Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seemingly shut the door on the prospect of having any peace talks with Vladimir Putin — but not with Russia under a different leadership.
Zelensky signed a decree on Tuesday formally declaring negotiations with the Kremlin autocrat to be “impossible.”
The decree formalized comments made by Zelensky on Friday after Putin proclaimed four partially occupied regions of Ukraine to be a part of Russia “forever,” in what Kyiv and the West dismissed as an illegitimate farce.
“He does not know what dignity and honesty are. Therefore, we are ready for a dialog with Russia, but with another president of Russia,” Zelensky said on Friday.
The Kremlin responded to Zelensky’s move by saying that Russia will not end its “special military operation” if Kyiv rules out talks, adding that it “takes two sides to negotiate”.
“We will either wait for the current president to change his position or wait for the next president to change his position in the interests of the Ukrainian people,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Ukrainian forces have broken through Russian defense in the south of the country and expanded a rapid offensive in the east, seizing back territory in areas annexed by Russia.
Russia’s upper house of parliament ratified the annexation of Donetsk, Luhanks, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia on Tuesday, and Putin was expected to sign it into law later today.
Putin, who turns 70 this week, has been in power in various capacities in Russia for 22 years and could run for office two more times under constitutional reforms he presided over, potentially remaining in office until 2036.
With Post Wires