Kremlin says Zelenskiy’s ‘no Minsk 3’ comment confirms Kyiv’s unwillingness to negotiate

LONDON (Reuters) – Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s statement that there will be no “Minsk 3” deal to end the fighting in Ukraine confirms that Kyiv is not interested in holding peace talks with Moscow, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Speaking via video link to the G20 summit in Bali, the Ukrainian president on Tuesday ruled out a third “Minsk agreement”, a reference to two failed ceasefire deals between Kyiv and Moscow over the status of the eastern Donbas region.

“We will not allow Russia to wait, build up its forces, and then start a new series of terror and global destabilisation. There will be no Minsk 3, which Russia will violate immediately after the agreement,” Zelenskiy said.

Asked on Tuesday whether the statement confirms that Kyiv is unwilling to negotiate with Russia, Peskov told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency: “Absolutely.”

Peace talks between the two sides have been scant in recent months, following a breakdown of early attempts to broker a ceasefire in Istanbul during the first weeks of the war.

Germany and France brokered the first Minsk agreements – signed in 2014 and 2015 – for ceasefires in eastern Ukraine amid a war between Russian-backed separatists and Kyiv. Both sides accused each other of violating the deal.

(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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