Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin has again made recognition of the Russian conquests in Ukraine a condition of negotiations with the government in Kyiv.
After a phone call between Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, the Kremlin said: "Vladimir Putin has again emphasized Russia's readiness for serious dialogue - on condition that the authorities in Kyiv fulfill the well-known and repeatedly publicized demands and taking into account the new ones territorial reality."
In the autumn, after a series of military setbacks by Moscow, Putin officially annexed the Ukrainian regions of Cherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhia. Moscow's conditions for ending the war of aggression against Ukraine also include Kiev's recognition of Crimea, which has been annexed since 2014, as Russian, "denazification" and "demilitarization" of Ukraine, and its non-aligned status. Ukraine, in turn, has called the withdrawal of Russian troops from its territory as a precondition for negotiations.
In his phone call with Erdogan, Putin once again criticized the West. The Kremlin chief complained that he was playing a "destructive role" by supplying Ukraine with weapons and information that was important from a military point of view. According to experts, Russia has significant disadvantages when it comes to reconnaissance using drones and satellite images. Russia's initial advantage in firepower has also been significantly reduced by Western supplies of arms and ammunition to Ukraine.
Pressemitteilung des Kremlins (Russ.)