According to the minister, Russia does not demand that Zelensky “surrender”, but he must give the order to release all civilians and “stop resistance.” If Zelensky does this, then he “can bring peace,” Lavrov believes jpg” alt=”Lavrov said that Zelensky should “stop resistance”” />
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should “not surrender,” but “stop resistance,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Italian TV company Mediaset. The text of the interview is given by the press service of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“We do not demand that he [Zelensky] surrender. We demand that he give the order to release all civilians and stop the resistance,— Lavrov said.
He said that Russia has no goal to change the regime in Ukraine. According to the minister, this is “an American specialty.” “They do it all over the world,” — Lavrov added.
The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that if Zelensky stops issuing “criminal orders to his neo-Nazi battalions”, orders the release of civilians and stops resistance, then he “can bring peace.”
In early March, the Axios portal, citing a high-ranking Ukrainian official, reported that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet advised Zelensky to accept Putin's proposal to stop hostilities. The Walla agency wrote the same thing with reference to a high-ranking Ukrainian official. “If I were you, I would think about the life of my people and accept the offer,” — conveyed Bennet's words to the agency's interlocutor.
The Jerusalem Post later wrote that the Israeli authorities denied reports that Bennett had advised the Ukrainian president to “surrender.” Mikhail Podolyak, an adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, also said that Bennett “absolutely” did not offer Kyiv to agree to the demands of Russia.
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Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24. Russian President Vladimir Putin explained its need to protect the population of Donbass from “genocide” by the “Kyiv authorities”, as well as the “denazification” and “demilitarization” neighboring country. The day after the start of the special operation, Zelensky invited Putin to “sit down at the negotiating table to stop the death of people.”
At the end of March, the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, said that there was no progress on the issue of a personal meeting between Putin and Zelensky. Prior to this, the Kremlin spokesman noted that a summit meeting is “conceptually possible”, but the Ukrainian side must first do its “homework”— that is, to agree on the results of negotiations at the level of delegations, otherwise the heads of state “will have nothing to record.”
On April 22, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry said that negotiations with Ukraine were moving “slowly, slowly.” According to him, there is a feeling that Ukraine is not interested in them and has “resigned itself to its fate.”
Prior to this, Zelensky has repeatedly announced the termination of negotiations in the event of the destruction of the Ukrainian military in Mariupol or the holding of referendums in Russian-occupied Ukrainian regions. The Ukrainian president also called the negotiations of the delegations ineffective and insisted on a meeting with Putin.