Vladimir Putin has said he is open to peace talks if Ukraine accepts “new territorial realities.”
Speaking to Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Russian President claimed he was open to “serious dialogue,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
Russia illegally annexed four regions of Ukraine in September – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.
Much of Kherson has since been liberated and Russia does not control any of the regions in their entirety, yet the Kremlin still claims them as its own.
The Kremlin’s statement reads: “Putin again confirmed Russia's openness to serious dialogue on the condition of Kyiv authorities fulfilling the well-known and repeatedly voiced requirements of taking into account the new territorial realities.
Earlier on Thursday, Erdogan had pressed Putin to declare a “unilateral” ceasefire in Ukraine.
“President Erdogan said that calls for peace and negotiations should be supported by a unilateral ceasefire and a vision for a fair solution,” his office quoted Erdogan as telling Putin in a telephone call.
Erdogan was due to follow the talks with a separate conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky later on Thursday, AFP reports.
Putin and Erdogan also discussed the implementation of a landmark grain deal, brokered by the UN with the help of Turkey, to unblock Ukrainian grain.
The Kremlin said the pair discussed "the unblocking of food and fertiliser supplies from Russia" and the need for "the removal of all barriers to Russian exports."
Russia briefly exited the deal in October after a drone attack on its Black Sea Fleet. It re-entered the deal within days but officials have complained of restrictions on Russian products.
This is a breaking story and will be updated regularly…
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