Russia denies ‘significant progress’ in talks with Ukraine

Moscow: The Kremlin has termed a report in the Financial Times about a supposed 15-point draft peace plan with Ukraine as false.

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The sides held several rounds of talks after Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24, later switching to regular discussions via video link.

Replying to a reporter’s question on Thursday as to if Russia and Ukraine were close to signing a peace deal, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “No, the work continues [on the matter].”

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He added that Russia will inform the public of any breakthrough in the talks, RT reported.

The statement came after the Financial Times reported on Wednesday that the sides had made “significant progress” and were discussing a 15-point draft plan, which would include the withdrawal of Russian troops, and Ukraine becoming a neutral state in exchange for protection by Western allies.

Peskov confirmed that some of the issues mentioned by FT were on the agenda, but dismissed the overall report as “essentially false”.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a member of the Ukrainian negotiating team, said that the draft from the FT report represented what Russia wanted from Kiev and “nothing more”.

He reiterated that Kiev was seeking a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Russian forces, and legally binding security guarantees.

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