Moscow has not officially contacted Kiev about peace talks, but for talks to take place Russia would have to withdraw its forces completely. On Saturday, during a video conference at the International Security Forum in Halifax, Canada, Andrij Jermak, the head of Volodymyr Zelensky’s presidential office, said this. TASR informs according to the report of the AFP agency.

“We have no official request from the Russian side about… negotiations,” Jermak said. He called any talks that are not based on Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders “unacceptable”. “The first steps that need to be taken from the Russian side is to withdraw all Russian troops from Ukrainian territory,” Jermak added.

The day before, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rejected the idea of ​​a “short truce” with Russia and he said it would only make things worse. “A truly real, long-lasting and honest peace can only be the result of the complete destruction of Russian aggression,” the president said.

The White House said on Friday that only Zelenskyy can decide when to start peace talks with Russia. He also denied that he was pressuring Kiev to negotiate an end to the war. The head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, previously suggested that Kiev could take advantage of the combat victories and start negotiations leading to an end to the war.

Moscow still controls about 20 percent of Ukraine’s territory. According to Milley, it is unlikely that Kiev will soon be able to liberate the entire occupied territory, especially Crimea, which Moscow occupied back in 2014.

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