Zelenskyy adviser says Russia must withdraw troops from Ukraine before dialogue can take place

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A Official Ukrainian rejected former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s claims that Putin wanted a “negotiated solution”, saying on Wednesday that no dialogue could take place until Russian forces withdrew.

“If Moscow wants dialogue, it’s up to them to decide,” tweeted Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, on Wednesday. “First, a ceasefire and a withdrawal of troops, then – constructive”

Schroeder, who served as Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005 and calls himself a close friend of Putin, told German media this week that the grain deal between Russia and Ukraine indicates peace talks could work.

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“The good news is that the Kremlin wants a negotiated solution,” Schroeder told broadcasters RTL/ntv. “A first success is the grain agreement, which can perhaps be slowly extended to a ceasefire.”

Under this grain agreement, a ship loaded with Ukrainian supplies left the Black Sea on Wednesday for the first time since the Russian invasion more than five months ago.

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Putin said last month that Russia does not “reject peace talks” while threatening that the invasion has only just begun.

“Everyone should know that, overall, we haven’t started anything seriously yet,” Putin said on July 7.

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The United Nations it seems pessimistic that the recent grain agreement will lead to a more constructive dialogue.

“Despite the encouraging developments regarding grains and fertilizers, we remain deeply concerned about the lack of prospects for a meaningful resumption of diplomatic efforts to end the war,” said the UN Chief of Political Affairs. , Rosemary DiCarlo, July 29.

Reuters contributed to this report.