Russia says Ukraine conflict will end if Kiev agrees to negotiate

Russia says Ukraine conflict will end if Kiev agrees to negotiate

The conflict will end once Kiev is ready to negotiate, according to the head of the State Duma Defense Committee.

The head of Russia's State Duma Defense Committee Andrey Kartapolov claimed on Wednesday that Moscow's military offensive could come to an end if Kiev agreed to negotiate.

Kartapolov said in an interview with RIA Novosti that the operation will develop in accordance with the plan and will end when the Ukrainian leadership is ripe for negotiations. He said that Kiev's forces are beginning to crack and that the situation on the ground has changed.

The last round of face-to- face talks between the two countries took place on March 29 in Istanbul, where Kiev proposed penning an international security guarantee for Ukraine in exchange for agreeing to neutral status that Russia has been demanding since before the conflict began.

The talks eventually fell through, and the two sides blame each other for the lack of progress in negotiations.

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked Moscow and Kiev to hold a new round of talks in Istanbul, noting that the peace process had appeared to make some progress before breaking down.

President Erdogan stated that Turkey's readiness, if agreed upon in principle by both parties, to meet with Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations in Istanbul, and to assume a role in a possible observation mechanism, was stated in a statement by the presidency s directorate of communications.

Russia attacked the neighboring state due to Ukraine s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to take the two republics by force.