Moscow says Zelensky accepted Putin’s talks proposal

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Russia today said Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accepted President Vladimir Putin’s proposal for talks and was ready to negotiate peace and a ceasefire.

“We have accepted the Russian president’s proposal,” he wrote on his Facebook account,” Russia’s state-run Tass wrote quoting Zelensky’s press secretary Sergey Nikiforov as saying on his Facebook account on Saturday.

Nikiforov said “I have to refute allegations that we have refused to have talks. Ukraine has always been and is ready to negotiate peace and a ceasefire. It is our permanent position”.

TASS said according to Nikoforov consultations were underway about the place and time of the negotiations and “the sooner talks begin, the more chances there will be to restore normal life”.

International news services, however, did not carry any such report or appeared to have ignored it but the US-based Foreign Policy said Russian officials indicated that Moscow was willing to send a delegation to Belarus for talks with their Ukrainian counterparts as Russian troops entered the outskirts of Kyiv on Friday.

Early indicators, however, suggested that Moscow still sought the full surrender of the Ukrainian government.

Forty four-year-old Zelensky videotaped himself in Kyiv as Russian forces closed in on the Ukraine capital vowing to fight them to the end saying “we are defending our independence, our state, and we will continue to do so”.

Accoreding to TASS Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said earlier that Putin was ready to send a delegation to Minsk for talks with Ukraine.

Later, he said that in response to the initiative to hold talks in the Belarusian capital city the Ukrainian side suggested Warsaw as a possible venue and still later lost contact.
Putin televised address on Thursday said in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he launched a special military operation to protect people “who have been suffering from abuse and what he called “genocide” by the Kiev regime for eight years.

The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.

When clarifying the unfolding developments, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.