By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com — Peace talks with Ukraine “are at a dead end”, Russian news agencies quoted President Vladimir Putin as saying on Tuesday, raising the prospect of a fresh assault on Ukrainian territory in the coming days.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Putin said that Ukraine had not honored the tentative agreements made in peace talks in Istanbul over recent weeks. He didn’t elaborate.
Earlier, during a tour of a space facility in Russia’s Far East, Putin had repeated his familiar criticisms of Ukraine, claiming that Neo-Nazism had taken root there and that a conflict with Russia was “inevitable” and “just a matter of time.”
However, he had said that the main aim of what Russia calls a “special military operation” had been “to help the people of Donbas”, the regions of eastern Ukraine that seceded in 2014 with support from the Russian military. Russia has supported breakaway ‘republics’ in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions since that time, and formally acknowledged their independence just before invading the rest of the country in February.
Putin had initially said that the aim of Russia’s actions was to “de-Nazify” and “demilitarize” Ukraine, and sent thousands of troops to conquer Ukraine’s capital Kyiv. However, its army suffered repeated setbacks in that theater due to determined resistance from Ukrainian forces, and was withdrawn two weeks ago to concentrate on the conquest of Donbas.
Putin Says Ukraine Peace Talks Have Reached a Dead End – Reports