Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that Vladimir Putin is ready to meet with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Peskov said that Putin is not going to discuss the annexation of Crimea in negotiations with Zelensky.
The Kremlin believes that the presidents should meet because relations between the two countries "need to be fixed,” but Kyiv does not show political for that.
Putin's spokesman also said that so far there has been little progress in organizing a personal meeting between Zelensky and Putin.
In February 2014, armed people in uniforms without insignias appeared in Crimea and captured the Supreme Council of Crimea, the Simferopol Airport, the Kerch ferry crossing and other strategic objects, and prevented the Ukrainian army from taking action. Initially, the Russian government refused to acknowledge that these armed people were Russian soldiers, but President Vladimir Putin later admitted it.
On 16 March 2014, a referendum on the status of Crimea was held in Crimea and Sevastopol, in which the inhabitants supposedly voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia. The outcome of the so-called referendum is not recognized by Ukraine, the EU or the US. On 18 March, Putin announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.
International organizations have declared the annexation illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in connection with the annexation. Russia claims to have “restored historical justice”. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, declared 20 February 2014 the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.