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Ukrainian officials dismissed claims by former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder that Putin wants a “negotiated solution” and said on Wednesday that no dialogue could take place until Russian troops withdrew.
Mikhail Podlyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, tweeted on Wednesday: “If Russia wants dialogue, it’s up to them.” “First, a ceasefire and withdrawal of troops, then constructive.”
Schroeder, who was Germany’s Chancellor from 1998 to 2005 and describes himself as a close friend of Putin, told German news outlets this week that a grain deal between Russia and Ukraine could lead to successful peace talks. said to show that
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“The good news is that the Kremlin wants a negotiated solution,” Schroeder told broadcaster RTL/ntv. “The first success was the grain deal, and perhaps that could slowly expand into a ceasefire.”
Under that grain deal, a ship laden with Ukrainian groceries left the Black Sea on Wednesday for the first time since Russia invaded more than five months ago.
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Putin said last month that Russia had not “rejected peace talks” and threatened that aggression had just begun.
Putin said on July 7, “By and large, everyone should know that we haven’t started anything in earnest yet.
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The UN seems pessimistic that the recent grain deal will lead to more constructive dialogue.
Rosemary DiCarlo, director of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, said on July 29, “Despite promising progress on grains and fertilizers, there is no prospect of a turnaround towards a meaningful resumption of diplomatic efforts to end the war. I am deeply concerned,” he said.
Reuters contributed to this report.