Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told state media RIA Novosti that the Kremlin “remains open to negotiations” but there’s a need to consider “realities on the ground,” hinting at keeping occupied Ukrainian territories as a precondition, a notion considered unacceptable by Kyiv since day one of Moscow’s full-scale invasion.

Lavrov also praised Beijing’s “constructive line” in attempting to help settle the war in Ukraine, whose peace formula called for an end of hostilities under conditions that are favorable to Moscow. 

“Negotiations must be based on the principle of indivisibility of security and realities on earth,” said Lavrov, reiterating Moscow’s rhetoric that it invaded Ukraine to ensure its own security.

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Lavrov added that the results of Moscow’s illegal referendum in occupied Ukrainian territories should be respected and is a precondition for Moscow’s version of peace.   

“I’ll emphasize once again: this presupposes respect for the realities that have developed on earth, reflecting the will of the people living there,” he said.

Lavrov’s statement echoed a recent statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin, where Putin said Moscow is open to peace talks “based on the current situation on the ground” during his recent visit to Belarus.

OSCE Official Gets Jail Term for 'Spying' in Russian-Held Ukraine
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OSCE Official Gets Jail Term for 'Spying' in Russian-Held Ukraine

OSCE condemned it as "a grave violation of participating states' commitments under international law" and called for the immediate release of Vadym Golda and two other jailed OSCE officials.

In contrast, Kyiv and the West have maintained that peace is only possible if Moscow withdraws its troops and restores the internationally recognized borders prior to Moscow’s invasion.

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