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Zelenskyy demands a face-to-face meeting with Putin

Vladimir Putin's approach to ending the war in Ukraine depends on a face-to-face meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, according to the Ukrainian president.

Media reports suggest that Zelenskyy said that Putin needs to meet with him outside of Russia during remarks that were published by Russian media outlets.

As a threat to Moscow's sovereignty, Russia has demanded that Ukraine not join NATO. After Russia withdraws its forces, Zelenskyy said, Ukraine should hold a referendum to decide the issue of neutrality.

“We must come to an agreement with the president of the Russian Federation, and in order to reach an agreement, he needs to get out of there on his own feet … and come to meet me,” he said, according to an Associated Press translation of his comments.

During a video conference on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, "We are prepared to give diplomacy a chance. That's why we agreed to the talks taking place in Istanbul."

Several examples have been cited by Lavrov of situations in which Western colleagues have broken diplomacy, he added that "they cannot be trusted."

“I wouldn’t want to see any shuttle diplomacy from our Western partners, because they’ve already done their ‘shuttling’–in February 2014 in Ukraine and in February 2015 in Minsk,” he added.

In addition, Zelenkyy said that Ukraine seeks peace "without delay" in subsequent talks in Istanbul. That location was announced after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, according to Erdogan's office.

28 March 2022


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