United Nations, Sep 23 (EFE).- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on Saturday that Russia is prepared to return to the negotiating table with Ukraine but will not entertain “any proposals for a ceasefire.”
“Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared our readiness to engage in negotiations. However, we will not entertain ceasefire proposals because we have done so before and were deceived,” Lavrov mentioned during a press conference following his address at the UN General Assembly in New York.
The minister reminded that meetings had taken place between Russian and Ukrainian delegations in April of the previous year and accused Kyiv of aiming to extend the military conflict to “wear down” Russia.
Lavrov also accused the US and Western nations of prolonging the war by refusing to consider any peace proposal that deviates from the official position of Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky. Zelensky’s position includes Russia’s complete withdrawal from Ukrainian territory and the “full restoration” of Ukraine’s sovereignty.
According to Lavrov, this proposal is not viable. “Do they want negotiations to take place on the battlefield? Very well, then it will be on the battlefield,” he added.
Dark Clouds Over Grain Deal The Russians also did not provide many positive signals on another significant issue the UN has attempted to mediate: the “grain deal.” This deal aims to facilitate the flow of Russian and Ukrainian grain and Russian fertilizers through a secure corridor in the Black Sea, which Moscow has not renewed.
Lavrov referred to proposals by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to enable Russian financial transactions through a subsidiary of the Russian Agricultural Bank in Luxembourg to revive the agreement and stated that they “would not work.”
“We do not reject them,” Lavrov said, “they are simply not realistic.” The minister explained that the Luxembourg branch Guterres is proposing still needs to receive a banking permit to operate.
Lavrov’s appearance primarily focused on accusing Washington and its NATO allies of seeking to maintain the “status quo” out of fear of a “new world order” with greater involvement from countries in the global south, a recurring message from the Russian delegation to the UN since the start of the invasion. EFE