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Russia Wants to Discuss Only Transport Links, Diplomatic Relations, Lifting Sanctions with Ukraine

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Moscow sent Kyiv a list of desirable issues for a meeting between the presidents of Ukraine and the Russian Federation. According to Russian media, the occupation of Crimea and the war in Donbas are not on the list.

Journalists, citing sources in Russian government agencies, report that Russia brought its vision of a possible meeting between Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky to the Ukrainian side a few months ago.

The list includes 12 issues. In particular, the Kremlin believes that the parties could agree to resume full-fledged diplomatic relations, and lift mutual trade and economic restrictions and sanctions against individuals and legal entities.

The Russian side also wants the leaders to agree on the resumption of transport links between the two countries, to prepare agreements on gas transit and supplies for the period after 2024 by 1 December 2022.

At the same time, Crimea is not mentioned at all among the topics proposed by the Russian Federation. The issue of the war in Donbas is considered exclusively as a remark that Russia’s representatives in the Trilateral Contact Group and the Normandy format will support any peace agreements between Kyiv and representatives of the occupation authorities in the territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions currently not controlled by the Government of Ukraine.

According to Russian media, Ukraine has not yet responded to the proposed list of issues.

As a reminder, the other day President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky declared that he was ready to meet with Vladimir Putin either personally, or in the Normandy format as such a meeting “will help to solve the tragedy in Donbas and the issue of Crimea.”

“I would like to meet with the President of the Russian Federation. It is clear to me that a face-to-face meeting can be quite substantive. It is clear to me that the entourage of the President of Russia does not want us to have a face-to-face meeting because it can bring unexpected results,” Zelensky stressed.

At the same time, the Office of the President of Ukraine emphasises that the Russian side is making unconstructive attempts to find various reasons to postpone bilateral talks. Russia stubbornly refuses to discuss what is really important for both peoples – Crimea and the war in Donbas.

Bohdan Marusyak

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