End of sanctions on Russia part of peace talks with Ukraine, says Lavrov

(Reuters) – The end of sanctions imposed on Russia is part of peace talks between Moscow and Ukraine, which are “difficult” but continue daily, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in comments published earlier this month. Saturday.

Kiev warned on Friday that talks on ending the Russian invasion, now in its third month, were in danger of collapsing.

“At the moment, the Russian and Ukrainian delegations are actually discussing daily, via video conference, a draft of a possible treaty,” Lavrov said in comments to China’s official Xinhua news agency, published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has insisted since the invasion began on February 24 that Western sanctions on Russia needed to be tightened and could not be part of the negotiations.

Ukraine and Russia have not held face-to-face peace talks since March 29, and the atmosphere has deteriorated over Ukrainian allegations that Russian troops committed atrocities by withdrawing from areas near Kiev. Moscow has denied the allegations

Moscow calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” its neighbor. Ukraine and the West say Russia has launched a war of unprovoked aggression.

“The agenda of the talks also includes, among others, the issues of denazification, the recognition of new geopolitical realities, the lifting of sanctions, the status of the Russian language,” Lavrov said, without elaborating.

“We are in favor of continuing the negotiations, although they are difficult,” Lavrov said.

Ukraine’s western allies have imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow. They froze about half of Russia’s state reserves of gold and foreign currency, hammering the Russian economy and putting it on the brink of sovereign default.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly, Melbourne)

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