Podolyak said that the negotiations would be on hold until Russian returns to properly addressing facts, including the war crimes its soldiers have committed in Ukraine.
Russian diplomacy should respect the official Ukrainian position on the war and the paths to resolve it, he said. Russia should understand Ukrainian view of how “we should exit this war,” he added.
“Just now, unfortunately, Russia has returned to such an ancient and not very clear understanding of global matters and its own role in them, it still doesn’t realize that it’s been fighting a war against Ukraine for 85 days now,” said Podolyak.
“It’s not a war against NATO, I emphasize. Of course, this is an obstacle that stops Russia from behaving properly and being prepared for negotiations.”
He added that diplomatic negotiations are a necessary tool during war, but should be based on a proper assessment of each sides’ positions, fact-based information from the battlefields, and the political positions of both sides.
“It’s like human relationship,” Podolyak said. “If neither side has any mutual interests, (if they) don’t have a common denominator, then they won’t be interested in talking to each other.
“Exactly same thing is happening in our negotiations. We don’t have anything to discuss, no lines that intersect, no ability to fairly and logically explain our own motives using the reliable information.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier said during an interviews that Ukraine will win the war that Russia started on the battlefields, but resolving the matter has to be done diplomatically. He also said that “conversation between Ukraine and Russia will definitely occur.”
On May 17, Podolyak said that negotiations between Ukraine and Russia had been put on hold, as after the Istanbul agreements no progress has been achieved.
However, Rustem Umerov, a Ukrainian MP and a delegate to the negotiating group, later said that some talks were still ongoing.
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“It’s a very complicated process with too many parameters,” Umerov said. “We haven’t (completely) stopped our work. If that were official position of the Presidential Office, then it would be final. There isn’t such a position so far. In all the groups, we have been negotiating, and will be doing so in the future.”