The Kremlin said on Thursday that Russia put “colossal” energy into negotiations for a possible peace deal with Ukraine, but failed to see that “zeal” from Kiev, and an agreement has yet to be reached.

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said talks are continuing and Russian negotiators are standing by 24 hours a day.

Ukraine says it is ready to negotiate to end the three-week-old war, but will not surrender or accept Russian ultimatums.

“Negotiations are complicated. The positions of the parties are different. For us, fundamental issues are inviolable,” Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelenskyy, said in a tweet. Another official in Zelenskyy’s office said on condition of anonymity that the main topic of discussion was whether Russian troops would remain in separatist regions of eastern Ukraine after the war and where the borders would be.

Russia wants a neutral Ukraine and a written guarantee that its former Soviet neighbor will never join NATO’s military alliance. Peskov said that if Ukraine agrees to such a document and sticks to it, Russia “could very quickly stop what is happening”.

Asked about a Financial Times report that Ukraine and Russia had made significant progress on a preliminary peace plan, Peskov said, “It’s not right — there are elements that are right, but in general it is wrong.”

US President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping will speak by phone on Friday, and the US president also plans to travel to Europe next week for talks with European leaders about the Russian invasion, and attend an extraordinary NATO summit in Brussels.

Biden has announced that the US is sending an additional $800 million in military aid — including anti-aircraft and anti-armor weapons and drones — to Ukraine, sending a total of $2 billion in such aid to Kiev since Biden took office. than a year ago.

Biden also called Putin a “war criminal”. In response, the Kremlin said this is an unforgivable comment by the leader of a country that had killed civilians in conflicts around the world.

Putin lashed out at “scum and traitors” on Thursday, signaling an even tougher crackdown on domestic opposition to the war.

Meanwhile, the governor of the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv said it suffered “colossal losses and destruction” from Russian artillery and air strikes. Viacheslav Chaus told Ukrainian TV on Thursday that the bodies of 53 people have arrived at the city’s morgues in the past. 24 hours In the besieged southern city of Mariupol, a Russian airstrike hit a theater sheltering hundreds of people.

This post Colossal effort for deal, but Kiev lacks zeal: Kremlin

was original published at “”