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Russia says Ukraine prolonging conflict by refusing talks

By AFP
26 February 2022   |   1:56 pm
The Kremlin on Saturday accused Ukraine of prolonging the military conflict by refusing to negotiate as Russia pressed on with its invasion of the pro-Western country. krem;i

The Kremlin on Saturday accused Ukraine of prolonging the military conflict by refusing to negotiate as Russia pressed on with its invasion of the pro-Western country.

“In connection with the expected negotiations, the Russian president yesterday afternoon ordered the suspension of the advance of the main forces of the Russian Federation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters during a conference call.

“Since the Ukrainian side refused to negotiate, the advance of the Russian forces resumed this afternoon.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting of big businesses at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 24, 2022. – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said his country wanted to remain part of the world economy and had no plans to harm it. Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, killing dozens and triggering warnings from Western leaders of unprecedented sanctions. Russian air strikes hit military installations across the country and ground forces moved in from the north, south and east, forcing many Ukrainians flee their homes to the sounds of bombing. (Photo by Alexey NIKOLSKY / SPUTNIK / AFP)


On Friday, as Moscow’s forces approached Kyiv, the Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin was ready to send a delegation for talks to Belarus, where Russia has stationed thousands of troops.

It is one of the places from where Ukraine says it is being attacked.

A few hours later, Putin called on the Ukrainian army to overthrow the country’s leadership whom he described as “terrorists” and “a gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had repeatedly called for talks with the Russian leader during a weeks-long diplomatic push in which Western countries tried to deter Putin from launching an attack.

As Russian troops closed in on Kyiv on Friday, Zelensky issued a new statement urging talks.

“I would like to address the President of the Russian Federation once again. Fighting is going on all over Ukraine. Let’s sit down at the negotiating table to stop the deaths of people,” he said.

The Kremlin on Saturday also said that Russia had “seriously prepared” for the international sanctions, which it said it had “predicted.”

“Measures are being taken immediately to minimise damage to all sectors of our economy,” Peskov said.

Russia has been hit by a barrage of Western sanctions after Putin announced his attack on Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday.