President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said he would be happy to meet with Russian officials, but he rejected Moscow’s suggestion for a meeting in Belarus, which served as a staging ground for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We’ve heard a lot about a meeting between Ukraine and Russia that may put an end to the fighting and restore peace to the region. “[Minsk] is frequently cited as the location for these negotiations,” Zelensky stated in a speech uploaded on the presidency’s website on Sunday morning.
“Neither [Ukraine] nor [Belarus] chose the place.” The Russian leadership selected it.”
Belarus was an important player in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to Ukrainian officials, Russian troops crossed the Belarusian border with the backing of the Belarusian government. For their assistance of the invasion, the Biden administration has sanctioned nine Belarusian defense corporations.
“If there were no threatening activities from your area, we might talk in Minsk, your city,” Zelensky continued, addressing Belarus directly. We talked in Minsk while you were neutral. That is why we are not conversing in Minsk right now.”
The Minsk Agreements, which featured a tenuous truce in two areas of Ukraine taken over by pro-Russian rebels the year before, were drafted by Ukrainian and Russian authorities in the Belarus city of Minsk in 2015.
“Of course, we want to meet and make peace. We want to put an end to the conflict. Russia was offered Warsaw, Bratislava, Istanbul, and Baku. “As long as there are no missiles flying from this country, any other city are good with us,” Zelensky stated.