Putin says Russia ready to negotiate with Ukraine

Putin invites Zelensky to negotiate

Russia is ready to conduct negotiations with Ukraine at a high level, President Vladimir Putin said as a result of his conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping, RIA Novosti reports with reference to China's Central Television.

Putin also spoke about the history of the Ukrainian crisis and informed Xi Jinping about the Russian military operation in the Donbass.

Russia is ready to send its delegation to Minsk, Belarus, for talks with Ukraine, Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"As you know, today, President of Ukraine Zelensky announced his readiness to discuss the neutral status of Ukraine. Initially, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the purpose of the operation was to help the LPR and the DPR, including through the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. This, in fact, is an integral component of neutrality status," the Kremlin spokesman said.

According to him, a delegation will include representatives of defense and foreign affairs ministries, as well as the presidential administration.

Earlier, it became known that the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, in a new video message, invited his Russian counterpart to sit down at the negotiating table. The Ukrainian president stressed that in this way he intended to stop the killings of civilians.

In turn, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow would be ready to start negotiations with Kiev after the Ukrainian military laid down their arms. He also assured that the Russian side was not going to oppress the Ukrainian military in any way.

On February 24, President Putin announced that he had decided to launch a special military operation to protect the Donbass.

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