The administration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky believes that Zelensky’s face-to-face talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin can take place before the end of 2021 or at the very beginning of the next year.
"We want to enter into direct talks with Putin. It is quite possible to meet at the end of this year or at the very beginning of the next. We need to understand in principle : is there a possibility to agree on something or not, " a source close to Zelensky told RBC-Ukraine.
Earlier, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that "it is necessary to negotiate in all possible formats to end the war." At the same time, he added that Ukraine is not looking for "peace at any cost".
According to him, Kyiv is seeking a "fair peace" that will be worth the "huge price" paid by Ukraine. The Minister also noted that President Zelensky is ready to negotiate "on the de-occupation of Crimea and the Donbas".
Earlier in September, the press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that talks are possible if the presidents will discuss the implementation of Minsk agreements by Ukraine, the agreements of the Paris summit, which took place at the end of 2019, as well as bilateral relations between Moscow and Kyiv.
According to the Kremlin, the talks will not take place if Ukraine raises the issue of Crimea's ownership. "Naturally, the discussion of the Crimea is not possible. Therefore, this formulation actually calls into question the hypothetical possibility of holding such a meeting, "Peskov said.
Kyiv has repeatedly expressed both the desire for talks with the Russian president and their expected timing. In response, the Kremlin expressed its readiness for a meeting if the parties agreed on its agenda. Putin said that Kyiv should “negotiate with the self-proclaimed republics of the Donbas and implement the Minsk agreements, since it is there that the conditions for ending the conflict are spelled out”.
Putin said he was ready to discuss with Zelensky the bilateral relations between Russia and Ukraine.
In early September, Kuleba said that progress is evident, the parties moved to "bargaining" on the agenda of a possible meeting. However, he believes, the discussion of the Crimea will be a mandatory item, despite the fact that Moscow "is looking for an excuse to avoid this discussion." "I am convinced that the topic of Crimea will be on the agenda in any circumstances, the question is, how it will be covered publicly," Kuleba said.