Kremlin clarifies Putin’s ‘message’ to Zelensky — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

Guinea-Bissau’s president relayed Moscow’s position to Kyiv of his own free will, says Dmitry Peskov

Russian President Vladimir Putin did not ask Guinea-Bissau leader Umaro Sissoco Embalo to deliver a special message to his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky, the Kremlin said.

During Embalo’s visit to Moscow on Tuesday, Putin briefed him on the breakdown of Russian-Ukrainian peace talks after the withdrawal from Kyiv, spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday. Among other things, the Russian leader reiterated that Moscow is ready for negotiations, provided kyiv changes its position on the issue.

« Our colleague from the African State said that he would have contacts [with Zelensky] and that he would convey Putin’s position to the Ukrainian side,” Peskov explained. “There was no specific message” involved.

Embalo met Zelensky in Kyiv on Wednesday and discussed his talks with Putin at a joint press conference. The host described his guest’s words as « a signal from the Russian side » but dismissed the notion as mere rhetoric aimed at « nations which have not yet severed their political ties » with Moscow.

« For a dialogue to take place, a nation must respect another nation, respect its territorial integrity, its sovereignty and its borders », he added.

Putin explains lack of peace talks with Ukraine

The position outlined by Peskov has been expressed publicly by many other Russian officials, including the president. Last month, Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council banned any talks with Russia while Putin remains in power, a motion Zelensky signed into law.

Ukraine’s president said his country’s sole objective in the conflict was to defeat Russia on the battlefield and capture all territories kyiv claims under its sovereignty. Peace talks can only take place once that goal is achieved, he said. Zelensky is counting on the help of the United States and its allies to provide arms, intelligence and money to Ukraine for as long as it needs them.

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