Kremlin says it cannot imagine public negotiations with Kyiv

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This content was produced in Russia where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine.

MOSCOW, Nov 17 (Reuters) – The Kremlin on Thursday accused Kyiv of shifting the goalposts regarding possible peace talks, said it could not imagine engaging in public negotiations and called on Washington to push Kyiv towards diplomacy.

In a briefing call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the United States was capable of taking Russia’s concerns into account and could encourage Kyiv to return to the negotiating table if it wanted to.

Peskov also said Ukraine had changed its position on whether it even wanted to negotiate with Moscow several times during the course of the nine-month conflict and could not be relied on.

In Other Developments:

EXPLOSION IN POLAND

* Villagers in Przewodow in southeastern Poland, where the missile killed two people, struggled with the realisation that the war on their doorstep could reach them at any time.

* NATO’s secretary-general said Tuesday’s blast in Poland was probably caused by a Ukrainian air defence missile but Russia was ultimately responsible because it started the war.

* Ukraine is likely to get access to the site in southeastern Poland where a missile killed two people, the Polish president’s top foreign policy advisor said. Ukrainian defence official Oleg Danilov said Ukraine had evidence of a “Russian trace” in the incident, without giving any details.

FIGHTING

* Russia pounded gas production facilities and a major missile factory in new missile strikes on critical infrastructure in Ukraine, Ukrainian officials said.

* Ukrainian forces control around 1% of territory in the eastern region of Luhansk, the RIA Novosti news agency cited the Russian-installed head of the area as saying.

* Investigators in Ukraine’s recently liberated southern region of Kherson have uncovered 63 bodies with signs of torture after Russian forces left, Ukraine’s interior minister was quoted as saying.

* The top U.S. general said Ukraine’s chances of any near-term, outright military victory were not high, cautioning that Russia still had significant combat power inside Ukraine.

GRAIN DEAL

* A deal aimed at easing global food shortages by facilitating Ukraine’s agricultural exports from its southern Black Sea ports and due to expire on Nov. 19 was extended for 120 days. The agreement, initially reached in July, created a protected sea transit corridor and was designed to alleviate global food shortages by allowing exports to resume from three ports in Ukraine, a major producer of grains and oilseeds.

* A senior U.N. official involved in the Black Sea grain initiative negotiations welcomed an agreement to extend the deal, adding that work needed to continue on easing fertiliser exports.

DIPLOMACY

* Ukrainian President Zelenskiy said he met U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director Burns. Burns also met Russian President Putin’s spy chief in Turkey this week.

* French President Macron said G20 leaders agreed to push Russia towards defusing the conflict and expressed hope China could play a bigger mediation role in coming months.

* Russia hailed the G20 leaders’ declaration, which mentions the “immense human suffering” caused by the war, as a “balanced text” that Russian diplomats worked hard to influence.

Photo: Ukraine Emergency Services

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