UAF counter-offensive forced Kremlin to ask for talks, but Kyiv refused - Deputy Prime Minister
Russian officials wanted to divert Ukraine's attention from the counter-offensive, which had been strategically planned for months, and stop it.
Russian officials asked for talks against the backdrop of a UAF counter-offensive, but Ukraine refused, emphasizing the need for a complete de-occupation of its territories.
Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanyshyna said this on the France 24 TV channel.
In particular, she said that various groups of Russian officials made public and non-public attempts to establish contact with the Ukrainian authorities.
At the same time, Ukraine now has more leverage to negotiate and will only speak when it has achieved its military goals.
"It's clear that Ukraine has never withdrawn from the negotiations, but taking into account the gravity of the crimes that Russia commits on our soil, which are becoming more serious every month… The negotiation lever (on the part of the Russian Federation) is no longer the same as it was in February, so we must use this momentum for a major de-occupation of our territory. Then we will, of course, be ready for negotiations that will not be based on Russian ultimatums. Still, on what will allow us to stop the war, but also avoid next war on our soil when Russia will be able to restore reserves," Stefanishina said.
She said Russian officials wanted to divert Ukraine's attention from the counter-offensive, which had been strategically planned for months, and stop it.
"This is not the scenario we will play," Stefanishina said.