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Homechevron_rightWorldchevron_rightOpen to talks with...

Open to talks with Ukraine, won't give up annexed regions: Moscow

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Moscow: Russia on Tuesday asserted its position on the conflict with Ukraine and said the Kremlin is open to talks with Kyiv to end the war. The statement once again clarified that Russia will not give up the annexed regions.

Russia held a grand ceremony in Moscow last September to proclaim the annexation of four regions and name them as constituent subjects of the Russian Federation in a constitutional decree. Russia is open to talks if Kyiv accepts its control over the annexed regions.

Russia does not yet fully control these four regions as Ukrainian forces are still present in them. Moscow said it is fighting to liberate the annexed regions from the control of Ukrainian neo-Nazis. Kyiv has called it a baseless pretext for an illegal land grab.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow will never renounce its claims to four Ukrainian regions - Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson - annexed following referendums. "The new territorial realities could not be ignored". Both Kyiv and its western allies called the referendums "bogus and illegal".

"There are certain realities that have already become an internal factor. I mean the new territories. The constitution of the Russian Federation exists, and cannot be ignored. Russia will never be able to compromise on this, these are important realities," reported Reuters. "With a favourable state of affairs and the appropriate attitude from the Ukrainians, this can be resolved at the negotiating table. But the main thing is to achieve our goals," added Peskov.

Ukraine has demanded that Russian forces must leave every inch of the country and that included the four regions annexed in September 2022 and the Crimean peninsula annexed in 2014.

Russia is continuing its assault on Ukraine after the first anniversary of the invasion. Forces are pressing an offensive around Bakhmut, a small mining city. Al Jazeera correspondent Hoda Abdel-Hamid reported that Ukrainian forces are facing a very difficult situation because Moscow's troops led by the paramilitary Wagner Group are pushing from north, south, and east. "The Ukrainian forces are still holding their ground, albeit it is precarious ground, in the western part of the city. It would be significant if indeed the Russians do take control of Bakhmut on several levels – because it will give Russia a military victory that it hasn’t had in a very long time … and would also pave the way for Russia to reach nearby Sloviansk and Kramatorsk."

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TAGS:PutinUkraine warRussia Ukraine warRussian invasion of Ukraineannexed regions of Ukraine
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