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Lavrov Calls Zelensky's Idea of Talks Starting Without Kiev Getting 1991 Borders Absurd

© Sputnik / Go to the mediabankA Russian serviceman patrols the area near the frontline town of Artemovsk, also known as Bakhmut, in the course of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, Donetsk People's Republic, Russia.
A Russian serviceman patrols the area near the frontline town of Artemovsk, also known as Bakhmut, in the course of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, Donetsk People's Republic, Russia. - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.04.2024
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The idea of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the possibility of starting negotiations with Russia with Ukraine getting back its borders as of 2022 and not 1991 is "absurd," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.
"The [Zelensky's] formula is well known, it has been published, it is an ultimatum demanding that Russia surrenders, capitulates, retreats to the 1991 borders. Although, recently, Mr. Zelensky kindly said that it is possible to start from the borders of February 2022. Well, keep dreaming. It is absurd and sounds pathetic," Lavrov told reporters after the round table with ambassadors of over 70 countries dedicated to the Ukrainian crisis.

Last week, Zelensky told the CBS News broadcaster that negotiations with Russia could begin without restoring Ukraine's borders to what they were at the time of the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, marking a change in his rhetoric.

He said that Russia would be "ready" for dialogue if Ukraine managed to restore its pre-conflict border of 2022.
A sapper inspects an area for mines and explosive devices amid Russia's military operation in Ukraine in the town of Avdeyevka - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.03.2024
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Zelensky's recent sentiment runs totally counter to multiple previous statement by Ukrainian authorities that no peace talks between the parties are possible without returning to Ukraine's 1991 borders.
Minister Lavrov said China's 12-point peace initiative was "sensible" and the most coherent so far, as it "proceeds from an analysis of the causes of what is happening and the need to eliminate these root causes," rather than a "menu where you pick what you want" as in Zelensky's 10-point plan.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin  - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.02.2024
China to Promote Political Solution to Crisis in Ukraine - Foreign Ministry
Commenting on the upcoming Swiss-hosted peace conference on Ukraine, where Russia will not be represented, Lavrov said that "unlike the West, which tries to forbid participation in the events that we organize, we will not forbid you from participating."
"We do not have such colonial, and bluntly dictatorial, quirks. Instead, we explain to them [countries] what they are being lured into," the Russian minister said, explaining that "we know that they [countries] are being pressured behind closed doors, and we believe that the decent thing to do is to openly say what we think about it and openly hear their assessments."
French President Emmanuel Macron (L), Poland's President Andrzej Duda (C) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) make a statement after their meeting during the Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, southern Germany, on February 17, 2023. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP) - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.02.2023
Munich Security Conference 2023: An Exercise in Western Self-Delusion

Switzerland will be hosting the conference at Zelensky's request, specifically to discuss his peace "formula." Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis has said that Russia needed to be part of any peace process related to the Ukraine conflict. In March, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow would not participate in the Swiss-hosted summit even if it were invited.

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