Kremlin says it sees no grounds for Ukraine peace talks now

Russia sees no current basis for holding negotiations to end its 22-month war in Ukraine, according to President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman.

“For us the idea of negotiations is not relevant,” Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday, according to Russian news services. “We have repeated many times that there are no grounds for these talks.”

Putin, who ordered the unprovoked February 2022 invasion, insists he’s not backing down on his war aims of securing the demilitarization of Ukraine and its neutral status to prevent it joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. “There’ll be peace when we achieve our goals,” he said at his marathon news conference last week. The sides can “either come to an agreement or resolve it by force. This is what we will strive for.”

The Kremlin’s confidence has grown amid political divisions in the U.S. and the European Union over support to Ukraine that has held up more than $110 billion in aid to the government in Kyiv. After Ukraine’s much-anticipated counteroffensive failed to dislodge Russian forces occupying eastern and southern areas of the country, fighting along the front line has largely reached a stalemate with winter settling in.

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