Russia ready to resume Ukraine talks: Chief negotiator

Kremlin aide Vladimir Medinsky said they are ready to continue the dialogue. PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia's lead negotiator in peace talks with Ukraine said Sunday (May 22) that Russia was willing to resume negotiations but the initiative to continue them was with Kyiv.

"For our part, we are ready to continue the dialogue," Kremlin aide Vladimir Medinsky said in an interview with Belarusian TV.

"Freezing talks was entirely Ukraine's initiative, Mr Medinsky said, adding that the "ball is completely in their court".

He added that "Russia has never refused talks".

Talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations have been held regularly both in person and via video-link since the Russian military offensive began on Feb 24.

The Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers met for inconclusive talks in Turkey in March, followed by a meeting of the delegations in Istanbul, which also failed to bring about concrete results.

On Tuesday, Kyiv's lead negotiator Mykhaylo Podolyak said that talks with Moscow were "on hold" after being held regularly in the earlier stages of the conflict but without substantial results.

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