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Ukrainian Presidential Aide Downplays Peace Talks With A Russia That 'Always Lies'

May 29, 2022

Mykhaylo Podolyak, an aide to Ukraine's president and envoy to previous peace talks in the ongoing three-month-long war with Russia, has blasted Moscow's credibility in the context of any potential deal.

Podolyak said via social media on May 28 that Moscow is lying when it accuses Kyiv of refusal to negotiate but said blunt force is the only way to thwart the Russian invasion.

He accused Moscow of hypocrisy and said in a tweet that until Russian troops withdraw, "negotiations are being conducted by a separate 'delegation' on the front line."

"Any agreement with Russia isn't worth a broken penny," Podolyak wrote on Telegram. "Is it possible to negotiate with a country that always lies cynically and propagandistically?"

He accuses Russia and its officials of barbarity and says, "A barbarian can only be stopped by force."

It has been nearly two months since the last publicly known, face-to-face peace talks after Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on May 27 that talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin were necessary to safeguard Ukraine's sovereignty and existence and to get "our lives back."

In an address to an Indonesian think tank, Zelenskiy said, "There are things to discuss with the Russian leader. I'm not telling you that our people are eager to talk to him, but we have to face the reality of what we are living through."

But he said Moscow did not appear ready for serious peace talks.

In a telephone call on May 28, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged Putin to engage in "serious direct negotiations" with Zelenskiy "and [find] a diplomatic solution to the conflict."

Based on reporting by Reuters

Source: httpshttps://www.rferl.org/a/ukrainian- presidential-aide-downplays-russia-peace-talks/31873574.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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