The lifting of sanctions on Russia is part of peace talks between Moscow and Ukraine, which are “tough” but continue daily, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an earlier statement on Saturday.
Kiev warned on Friday that talks on ending the Russian invasion were now in its third month and in danger of collapsing.
Commenting to China’s official Xinhua news agency, published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website, Lavrov said, “Currently, Russian and Ukrainian representatives are discussing the draft agreement on a daily basis, via video conference.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has insisted that Western sanctions on Russia be tightened since the start of the invasion on February 24 and cannot be part of the talks.
Ukraine and Russia have not held face-to-face peace talks since March 29, and the situation has been exacerbated by Ukrainian allegations that Russian troops withdrew from areas near Kiev. Moscow has denied the allegations.
Moscow calls its operations in Ukraine a “special operation” to militarize and “stop” its neighbors. Ukraine and the West say Russia has launched an unprovoked war of aggression.
“The agenda of the talks, among other things, includes denationalization, recognition of new geopolitical realities, removal of barriers, and the status of the Russian language,” Lavrov said without elaborating.
“Although the negotiations are difficult, we are committed to continuing them,” Lavrov said.
Ukraine’s Western allies have imposed tough sanctions on Moscow. They froze half of Russia’s state reserves of gold and foreign currency, hammered the Russian economy and put it on the brink of sovereignty default.
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