The Kremlin: Putin is open to any contacts to solve the Ukrainian “problem”!

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The Kremlin said on Friday that President Vladimir Putin remains open to any contacts to discuss a solution to the Ukraine problem.

The remarks came on the eve of a visit by African leaders to present a new peace initiative to Putin, nearly 16 months after the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian Interfax news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying, “President Putin was and remains open to any contacts to discuss possible scenarios for resolving the Ukrainian problem”.

Russia has always stressed that it is open to negotiations, but says that Ukraine must recognize the new realities on the ground, as Russian forces control about 18% of Ukrainian territory.

Last fall, Moscow announced the annexation of four regions in eastern and southern Ukraine, in addition to Crimea, which it annexed in 2014.

Ukraine says its peace plan, which calls for the complete withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, should be the basis for any settlement of the war.

The African delegation scheduled to hold talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday, before meeting Putin in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

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