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Zelensky Invites Putin to Negotiating Table

© REUTERS / UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy makes a statement in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 25, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy makes a statement in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 25, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Kiev had severed diplomatic relations with Moscow over Russia's special operation to demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has invited Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to sit down for talks.
"I want to appeal to the president of the Russian Federation once again […] let's sit down at the negotiating table to stop the death of people", Zelensky said in a video message published on his Telegram channel.
The move comes a day after Zelensky announced that Kiev had broken off diplomatic relations with Moscow.
"This morning has gone down in history, but this history is absolutely different for our country and Russia. And we have broken off diplomatic ties with Russia", he told a news briefing.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has, meanwhile, stressed that Moscow is ready for negotiations on Ukraine at any moment, as soon as the Ukrainian military lay down their arms.
"We are ready for negotiations. At any moment, as soon as the armed forces of Ukraine respond to the call of our president [Vladimir Putin], stop resisting and lay down their arms. No one is going to attack them, no one is going to oppress them, let them return to their families", Lavrov told reporters on Friday.
Russia launched a military operation to demilitarise Ukraine early in the morning on 24 February. In a televised address, President Vladimir Putin said that circumstances require "decisive and immediate action" from Russia following tje Donbass republics' request for help. Putin underscored that the goal of the special operation is the demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine.
According to the Russian president, all the responsibility for the bloodshed will be on the conscience of the ruling regime in Ukraine. He called on the Ukrainian military not to follow the criminal orders of Kiev, lay down their arms, and go home.
Earlier this week, Putin announced that Moscow had recognised the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People's Republics as independent nations. The move followed LPR requesting Russia's assistance amid intensifying shelling by the Ukrainian Army, which resulted in civilian casualties in the Donbass republics.
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