“First public rejection of Ukraine”

2022-07-09 0 By

Moscow, April 5 (Xinhua) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned Kiev not to sabotage russia-Ukraine peace talks.In a video released by the Russian Foreign Ministry, Lavrov said Russia would not play a “cat-and-mouse game” like previous peace plans for eastern Ukraine, the report said.In particular, Mr. Lavrov was quoted as saying that Russia did not want Ukraine to hold a referendum on a possible treaty between Moscow and Kiev aimed at resolving the conflict.Lavrov warned that in the event of a “negative result” in the referendum, the negotiating process would “most likely” have to start from scratch.It was the first time Mr. Lavrov had publicly rejected the idea of holding a referendum on a possible treaty on Ukraine’s neutrality after Russian troops leave, the report said.Lavrov also said the situation in bucha, a town near Kiev, was being used to divert attention from the talks.He flatly denied Ukrainian allegations that Russian forces carried out massacres there.