July 3, 2022

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Ukraine aide says any deal with Moscow isn’t worth a ‘broken penny’, Zelensky says Russian officials are weak

Ukraine aide says any deal with Moscow isn't worth a 'broken penny', Zelensky says Russian officials are weak

Mykhailo Podolak, political advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, receives questions from a member of the media after a meeting with Russian negotiators in Istanbul, Turkey on March 29, 2022. REUTERS/KEMAL ASLAN/FILE PHOTO

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Kyiv (Reuters) – Ukraine’s presidential adviser and peace negotiator, Mykhailo Podolyak, said on Saturday that any agreement with Russia could not be trusted, adding that the only way to stop Moscow’s invasion was force.

“Any agreement with Russia is not worth a broken penny,” Podolyak wrote in the Telegram messaging app. Is it possible to negotiate with a country that always lies cynically and propaganda?

Russia and Ukraine blamed each other after peace talks faltered, with the last known face-to-face negotiations on March 29. The Kremlin said earlier this month that Ukraine had shown no willingness to continue peace talks, while officials in Kyiv blamed Russia for the lack of progress. Read more

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the only person worth talking to is Russian President Vladimir Putin, because he made all the decisions.

“It doesn’t matter what their foreign minister says. It doesn’t matter that he sends us a negotiating group… all these people are unfortunately no one,” he told Dutch television in an interview filmed on Friday.

Putin says that Russian forces are conducting a special operation to disarm Ukraine and rid it of anti-Russian ultra-nationalists. Ukraine and its allies call this a false pretext.

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“Russia has proven to be a barbaric country that threatens global security,” Podolyak said. “A barbarian can only be stopped by force.”

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Additional reporting in Kyiv by Max Hunder and Ottawa by David Leunggreen; Writing in Melbourne by Lydia Kelly Editing by Francis Kerry and Chizu Nomiyama

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.