The Kremlin on Tuesday repeated its position that Russia was open to negotiations to end the Ukraine conflict, but that new “territorial realities” could not be ignored.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Russia would never renounce its claims to four Ukrainian regions that Moscow declared it had annexed last year following referendums that Kyiv and the West slammed as bogus and illegal.
“There are certain realities that have already become an internal factor. I mean the new territories. The constitution of the Russian Federation exists, and cannot be ignored. Russia will never be able to compromise on this, these are important realities,” Peskov said on Tuesday.
Russia proclaimed it had annexed the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions last September in a grand ceremony in Moscow.
The regions were subsequently named as constituent subjects of the Russian Federation in a constitutional decree.
Peskov said Russia was open to negotiations if Kyiv accepted Moscow’s control over the regions.
“With a favourable state of affairs and the appropriate attitude from the Ukrainians, this can be resolved at the negotiating table. But the main thing is to achieve our goals,” he said.