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Russia remains ready for talks on Ukraine: Foreign minister

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MOSCOW, RUSSIA - (---EDITORIAL USE ONLY - MANDATORY CREDIT - "KREMLIN PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the annual meeting with participants of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Moscow, Russia on October 27, 2022. (Kremlin Press Officie - Anadolu Agency)
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Oct 31, 2022 - 04:09 AM

ISTANBUL (AA) – Russia remains willing to enter into negotiations with its Western partners on Ukraine, the country’s top diplomat said on Sunday.

“The Russian leadership, including President Vladimir Putin, remains ready to negotiate on Ukraine,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with a local broadcaster, the state-run news agency TASS reported.

Moscow will “always be ready to listen to what proposals Western partners have to reduce tensions,” Lavrov added.

“The readiness of Russia, including its president, for negotiations (on Ukraine), remains unchanged,” Lavrov expressed.

He indicated that talks would be possible if Moscow is approached with “realistic proposals, based on the principles of equality and respect for each other’s interests, and aimed at finding compromises and balancing the interests of all countries.”​​​​​​​

Lavrov further said that Ukraine’s delays on conducting negotiations with Russia will make it more difficult for Kyiv to come to an agreement later on.

He also criticized the West for ignoring Putin’s calls to stop hostilities in Ukraine and sit down for negotiations.

In response to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ruling out talks with the current Russian government, Lavrov said the events in Ukraine were taking “a tragic turn because of what is happening with this regime (Kyiv), which enjoys absolute impunity for the West.”

“He (Zelenskyy) even signed a decree that forbids him to do this. He is a comedy artist, but now there is no time for comedies,” said Lavrov.

On Monday, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported civilian casualties of the ongoing war at 16,150, including 6,374 killed and 9,776​​​​​​​ injured.

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