25 Feb 2022 14:11

Russia ready for talks with Ukraine once democratic order is restored there - Lavrov

MOSCOW. Feb 25 (Interfax) - Once democratic order is restored in Ukraine, Russia will be ready for talks at any time, as soon as Ukrainian servicemen go back to their families, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"We are ready for talks. Any time, as soon as the Ukrainian armed forces respond to the call of our president, stop resisting and surrender their weapons. No one is going to attack or oppress them, let them go back to their families. Meanwhile, all of us should give the people of Ukraine a chance to choose a future," Lavrov told reporters on Friday after meeting with LPR Foreign Minister Vladislav Deinego and DPR First Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Peresada.

Talks will be an option again "after democratic order is restored in Ukraine," Lavrov said.

'Of course, any military operations, including those aimed at restoring some kind of democratic order devoid of elements of genocide, neo-Nazism and militarism, will clearly end up leading to talks," Lavrov said. "We seek to free Ukraine from militarism and neo-Nazism and to enable the local population to choose a future without experiencing any external pressure," he said.

"We've had no deficit of talks. Yet whenever talks are replaced with sabotage and claims are made that Russia must fulfill the Minsk Agreements... you know, shamelessness is actually a known feature of some of our Western colleagues," Lavrov said.

"In this particular case, the situation went beyond the limits of the possible, the limits of the admissible, and was accompanied by the continuous deterioration of the position of the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine," he said.