A day after President Vladimir Putin said he was open to negotiations over Ukraine, Russia’s foreign minister lashed out saying Kyiv and the West sought to destroy his country and Ukraine must meet Moscow’s demands or its army will.
Kyiv and its Western allies have dismissed Putin’s offer to talk, with his forces battering Ukrainian towns with missiles and rockets and Moscow continuing to demand that Kyiv recognize its conquest of a fifth of the country.
Kyiv says it will fight until Russia withdraws.
“Our proposals for the demilitarization and denazification of the territories controlled by the regime, the elimination of threats to Russia’s security emanating from there, including our new lands, are well known to the enemy,” state news agency TASS quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying late on Monday.
“The point is simple: Fulfil them for your own good. Otherwise, the issue will be decided by the Russian army.”
Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, calling it a “special operation” to “denazify” and demilitarise Ukraine, which he said was a threat to Russia.
Kyiv and the West say Putin’s invasion was merely an imperialist land grab.
The United States and its allies have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia for its invasion and sent billions of dollars in assistance to the Ukrainian government.