The Kremlin said Monday it was dissatisfied with the pace of negotiations with Ukraine, accusing Kyiv of “inconsistency” amid Russia’s relentless push for control of the besieged southern port city of Mariupol.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky warned Sunday that the shaky talks would end if Russian soldiers killed the remaining Ukrainian troops currently mounting a last-ditch defense of Mariupol. He added that the atrocities witnessed after the Russian retreat from areas near Kyiv during the previous round of face-to-face negotiations soured Ukrainians toward continuing peace efforts.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said last Tuesday that the negotiations with Ukraine reached a “dead end” because he was “told the Ukrainian party changed something in their negotiating positions.”
“The momentum in the negotiation process leaves much to be desired. But the military operation is continuing,” his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Monday.
As the war enters its eighth week with Russia shifting its focus to Ukraine’s east and south, Peskov maintained that the “special military operation is going according to plan.”
“I’d like to also remind you that, unfortunately, the Ukrainian side doesn’t show much consistency on the agreed points. [Their] position changes frequently,” Interfax quoted him as saying.
His comments follow assessments by Austrian and Italian leaders that Putin is “in his world” and that talks with him are “a waste of time.”