Putin called the hostilities in Ukraine a tragedy and added that one should think about how to stop them. Russia did not refuse negotiations with Ukraine; it was Kyiv that pulled out from the process of negotiations, he noted.
"Hostilities are a tragedy and we need to think about ending them," President Vladimir Putin said during his online speech at the G20 summit.
“Military actions are always a tragedy for certain people, certain families, for a country as a whole. Of course, we must think about how to stop this tragedy. By the way, Russia has never refused peace negotiations with Ukraine,” Vladimir Putin said.
He reiterated that it was Kyiv that pulled out from the dialogue, and recalled the decree that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed to prohibit such negotiations with Russia. The document, adopted in October 2022, stated Ukraine's refusal to negotiate with Russia with Putin being its president.
Putin also noted that several participants of the G20 summit said that they were disturbed by Russia's "aggression" in Ukraine. He then wondered whether they were disturbed by the 2014 events in Ukraine, which led to the conflict in Donbass, or by the “extermination” of civilians in the Gaza Strip.
Zelensky has repeatedly stated that Ukraine wanted the hostilities to end, but the peace process should be based on his “peace formula” that he presented a year ago (restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity, withdrawal of Russian troops, cessation of hostilities and return to Ukraine's 1991 borders). He also ruled out a possibility to freeze the conflict.
The Russian Foreign Ministry named the following conditions for peace negotiations with Kyiv to start:
The Russian authorities have repeatedly announced that Crimea issue was closed. Speaking about the future of the new regions, Putin emphasised that its residents made their clear choice during the referenda and Russia was not going to discuss it.
By summer, the Russian army may break through Ukrainian defences, reach Odessa and liberate Transnistria. The West will only “condemn” Russia's actions and continue supporting Chisinau in words