Peaceful solution to Ukraine crisis currently not possible – Russia

President Vladimir Putin earlier accused Kiev of refusing to hold further negotiations

The armed conflict in Ukraine cannot be resolved through negotiations under current circumstances, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, as cited by Interfax.

Asked if there was a path towards a diplomatic settlement, Peskov said that “at the moment, such a prospect cannot be observed,” the news agency reported.

Moscow blamed Kiev for the suspension of peace talks. In late March, the two parties discussed a draft peace agreement, which would make Ukraine a neutral state in exchange for security guarantees given by major world powers. However the Ukrainian government ended talks in April, after accusing Russian troops of having committed war crimes, an allegation that Moscow said was based on falsified evidence.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has since declared that his country will only be satisfied by defeating Russia on the battlefield and pushing its forces from the entire territory claimed by Kiev.

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That includes Crimea, the former Ukrainian region that rejoined Russia after an armed coup in Kiev in 2014. Moscow considers Crimea to be under its sovereignty and its status not subject to discussions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on Kiev’s position last week stating: “Zelensky said publicly … that he is not ready to talk to Russia. Well, if he is not, fine by us.”

Earlier this month, Ukraine launched a major military counter-offensive in its north east. At the same time Russian troops pulled back from some areas, which served to avoid major losses.

Another of Kiev’s attempts to make gains in the south was far less successful and reportedly resulted in serious casualties and loss of military equipment.