Russia said that it does not reject the idea of negotiations with Ukraine, however, warned the delay by Kyiv is complicating the possibility of reaching an agreement with Moscow.
In an interview with the state-owned Russian channel, Rossiya-1 TV, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin conveyed Moscow’s position during a meeting with the State Duma and faction leaders.
“The president told the meeting participants that we do not deny negotiations, but those who do should understand that the longer they postpone this process, the more difficult it will be for them to negotiate with us,” Foreign Minister Lavrov was quoted by Russian news agency TASS on Sunday.
Blaming Kyiv for imposing conditions for negotiations, Lavrov said, “If this is their choice, then we know how we can achieve goals set by Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of a special military operation.”
Since the outbreak of the conflict, Kyiv and Moscow have held peace talks intermittently without any real breakthrough.
Despite the several rounds of negotiations carried out during the initial days of the conflict, both sides have refused to compromise, and there has been little communication between the two countries in recent weeks.
The only success since the war broke out was achieved in Turkey when Ankara played a key role in bringing the two sides together in July for talks with the United Nations (UN) for the safe transfer of grain waiting in Ukrainian ports to international markets via sea route.
Ukraine has repeatedly ruled out negotiations with Russia, saying that they would not accept any deal with Moscow that involved ceding territory.
In August, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rejected calls for negotiations with Russia, blaming Moscow for holding referendums in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory.
“If the occupiers proceed along the path of pseudo-referendums, they will close for themselves any chance of talks with Ukraine and the free world, which the Russian side will clearly need at some point,” he said.
Later that month, Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, had told the Financial Times that Moscow saw no possibility of a diplomatic solution to end the war in Ukraine and expects a long conflict.
Ukraine’s top general had recently warned that Russia could use tactical nuclear weapons, which would create the risk of a “limited” nuclear conflict with other powers.