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Putin accuses Ukraine of wasting ‘opportunity’ for talks

By AFP
27 February 2022   |   1:28 pm
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday accused Ukrainian authorities of wasting "an opportunity" to hold talks after Moscow's invasion of its pro-Western neighbour.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via teleconference call at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow. (Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev / Sputnik / AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday accused Ukrainian authorities of wasting “an opportunity” to hold talks after Moscow’s invasion of its pro-Western neighbour.

The Kremlin said that Putin had briefed Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett about “the course of a special military operation to protect Donbas”.

During the call, the statement said, he “also noted that the Russian delegation is in the Belarus city of Gomel and is ready for negotiations with representatives of Kyiv, who, showing inconsistency, have not yet taken advantage of this opportunity”.

Bennet for his part proposed that Israel act as a mediator in talks between Russia and Ukraine “in order to halt the hostilities”, the Kremlin said.

Bennett’s office said the two men “discussed the situation between Russia and Ukraine”.

The call followed reports that Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky had asked Israel to play a mediation role following the Russian invasion.

Bennett and Zelensky spoke on Friday.

Russia wants to hold talks with Kyiv authorities in Belarus, which has allowed Russian troops passage to invade Ukraine.

Zelensky said Sunday that Ukraine was willing to hold talks with Russia, but rejected convening them in neighbouring Belarus.