Kremlin claims open to talks, accuses 'stubborn' Ukraine of sidestepping

"This evening, Putin will hold a meeting with representatives of African countries on the Ukraine issue,"

By
Web Desk
This photograph taken on April 1, 2023, shows a view of the Kremlin with Spasskaya Tower (C) and St. Basils Cathedral (R) in downtown Moscow. — AFP
This photograph taken on April 1, 2023, shows a view of the Kremlin with Spasskaya Tower (C) and St. Basil's Cathedral (R) in downtown Moscow. — AFP   

Russia said Friday that it was open to dialogue with Ukraine to resolve the issue but could not move forward because of the stubbornness of the Kiyv officials, who despite being disadvantaged, were running away from talks, Tass reported.

The Russian presidential person Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying: "The Russian side remains open, which cannot be said about the Ukrainians. The Ukrainians stick to their irreconcilable position, especially now that they are in quite an uneasy situation but, nonetheless, they keep rejecting any opportunity for dialogue."

“This evening, the Russian president will hold a meeting with representatives of African countries on the Ukraine issue,” Peskov said.

Earlier Friday, acting Zaporozhye Region Governor Yevgeny Balitsky said Russian forces are in control of the Vremevka direction with the enemy incurring “heavy losses”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech at a reception in honour of African leaders during the second Russia-Africa summit in Saint Petersburg on July 27, 2023. — AFP
Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech at a reception in honour of African leaders during the second Russia-Africa summit in Saint Petersburg on July 27, 2023. — AFP

A drone attack was also said to be averted by Russia Friday as the UAV was shot down by units of the Russian Defense Ministry, according to Mayor Moscow Sergey Sobyanin.

"No damage or casualties have been reported."

The statement comes as Russia-Africa commenced Thursday in St Petersberg after Moscow axed the deal grain to allow Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea, raising concern among African nations.

Last month, an African delegation visited Ukraine and Russia to offer their mediation between the two.

African countries suggested military de-escalation, security guarantees, and mutual recognition of sovereignty, however, the proposal was rejected by Kiyv saying it would freeze the conflict without ensuring that Russian troops leave Ukrainian soil.

The Kremlin had also said earlier that the African proposals would be "very difficult to implement."

"There will be a speech [by the head of the Russian state] and this meeting [will be held] in the follow-up of the previous encounter that took place during a visit [by representatives of African states to Russia]," the Kremlin press secretary was quoted.

The Ukrainian military claimed to regain its territory in the southeast, indicating towards retreat of Russian forces, according to a video published by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Army stated that the village — 150km (90 miles) east of the city of Zaporizhzhia — was taken over after intense fighting, accompanied by air support.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also indicated towards the Ukrainian offensive intensifying, however, unsuccessfully.

He said in St Petersburg: "All counter-offensive attempts were stopped, and the enemy was pushed back with high casualties."