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Russia Ready for Talks on Ukraine After New Government is Formed in Kiev, Says Putin


Moscow is ready for any kind of talks on Ukraine but a new government needs to be formed in Kiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters on Thursday, TASS reports.

"We never refused to hold any kind of talks, including the expansion of the Normandy process," he said in response to a question about Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s initiative to hold a meeting that would also involve the leaders of the US, Great Britain, France and Germany.

"However, first, there is a need to make thorough preparations for a Normandy process summit," he added. "Second, it will only be possible to discuss things after a new Ukrainian government is formed and a parliamentary election takes place in the country," the Russian president noted. "Third, I don’t know how other participants [of the Normandy Quartet] will react," he said.

Putin pointed out that British Prime Minister Theresa May was going to step down soon and he didn’t know if she was ready to accept such an invitation. "What was the reaction of the US administration? We don’t know," he went on to say. "How will German and France respond? These are the questions that need answers," the Russian president noted.

"We never refuse to build contacts if they are meaningful. So this [initiative] may turn out to be interesting," Putin said.

In his Facebook video address on July 8, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky called on Russian leader Vladimir Putin to hold a meeting in Minsk, mediated by the United States, Great Britain, German and France. According to Zelensky, the parties need to discuss where Crimea belongs and "who is absent from Donbass." Zelensky said he would like US President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to participate in the meeting.

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