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Ukraine: Talks with Moscow possible only if Russia withdraws

Ukrainian negotiator Mikhailo Podolyak speaks to media after talks between delegations from Ukraine and Russia in Belarus' Gomel region on Feb 28, 2022. (SERGEI KHOLODILIN / BELTA / AFP)

KIEV – Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Mykhailo Podolyak said that Kiev could resume dialogue with Moscow only after the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, the presidential press service reported Tuesday.

Ukrainian and Russian negotiators held the latest round of face-to-face peace talks in Istanbul, Türkiye, on March 29

In an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Podolyak said that a potential ceasefire deal at the current stage of the conflict would provide Russia with time to strengthen its positions.

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"The ceasefire for Russia is a tactical pause for reinforcement," Podolyak said.

While commenting on the reports that the representatives of the US Pentagon and the Russian Defense Ministry are involved in talks, Podolyak said that "there are no negotiations between Russia and Western countries regarding Ukraine."

"Our partners adhere to the principle of 'nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine.' Neither side will be able to ensure the implementation of agreements without the support of the Ukrainian people," he said.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict started on Feb 24.

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Ukrainian and Russian negotiators held the latest round of face-to-face peace talks in Istanbul, Türkiye, on March 29.