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Ukraine says calls for talks with Russia ‘uninformed or misled’

KYIV (AFP) – Ukraine yesterday criticised calls for Kyiv to hold negotiations with Russia, following reports its allies were pushing for talks in the wake of a underwhelming Ukrainian counter-offensive.

Twenty-one months into Russia-Ukraine conflict, the sprawling frontline is largely static in the wake of major offensives by both Ukrainian and Russian forces.

“Those who argue that Ukraine should negotiate with Russia now are either uninformed or misled,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on social media.

“Or they side with Russia and want (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to take a pause before an even larger aggression,” he added.

He said Kyiv had held hundreds of rounds of talks with Moscow since 2014.

The talks, which were mediated by Germany and France and which led to a face-to-face meeting between Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris in 2019, failed to bring lasting peace.

Ukrainian and Russian delegations met in the early stages of the war but Zelensky called off talks after the discovery of atrocities in the town of Bucha and other towns near Kyiv in spring 2022.

Soldiers at a military training ground in the north of Ukraine. PHOTO: AP