Zelensky would converse with Putin from offensive position: Kuleba

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Canan Sarıtepe
28 September 2021, 16:25
Canan Sarıtepe
28 September 2021, 16:25

If Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was to personally meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, he would have conducted a dialogue from an offensive position. 

This was stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba on the air of the program "Freedom of Speech" on ICTV.

According to the top diplomat, such a meeting would be appropriate if it contributed to achieving peace in Ukraine. 

“If it contributes to peace in Ukraine and ends the killing of our soldiers and civilians, it makes perfect sense. The president of Ukraine is certainly aware of our red lines, and he would have led such a conversation from an offensive position and created a lot of discomfort for the president Putin in a tete-a-tete conversation,” Kuleba said.

The head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry also stated that it would not hurt the Normandy Four format in any way.

Kuleba stressed Zelensky’s “absolute readiness” for such conversation precisely because the Ukrainian leader understands quite well the tricks Moscow is capable of.

"Certainly, Russia manipulates and lies. It is cynical and it has no sentimental principles for negotiations. But there is no other Russia, and there is a war out there, and there is Russian aggression against Ukraine. Therefore, whatever Russia is, we need to speak with them,” Kuleba stressed.

Background

On April 20, Zelensky addressed Putin, inviting him to meet "anywhere in the Ukrainian Donbas where the war is ongoing."

In two days, Putin said he was ready to meet with Zelensky in Moscow, but that the issue of ending the war in eastern Ukraine would be discussed only after the Ukrainian authorities held talks with the leaders of the so-called “DPR” and “LPR”, Russian-controlled and internationally-unrecognized statelets controlling parts of eastern Ukraine.

The head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak said that Russian officials have found various excuses not to hold meetings between the two leaders: the agenda does not suit them, or there is no desire to discuss certain issues. According to him, if the Kremlin wanted to hold a Russian-Ukrainian summit, the date and place of this meeting would have been known long ago.

On September 13, it was reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin refuses to discuss occupied Crimea and Donbas with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky. The Kremlin denied that Russia was a party to the conflict.