Lavrov: Operation in Ukraine continues, door to negotiations open
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov talks about the upcoming convening of the Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum and points out that the Russian operation in Ukraine will continue.
The initiative now lies with Kiev, but so far Ukraine's leadership has made it obvious that it is hesitant to begin the process, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who indicated on Sunday that Moscow is prepared to resume full-scale negotiations with Kiev.
"We do not have any preconceptions about resuming negotiations [with Kiev] on a broader range of issues, but it is not up to us. Because the Ukrainian authorities, starting with the president and ending with his countless advisers, have consistently stated that there will be no negotiations until Ukraine defeats Russia," Lavrov said following talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.
On July 22, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, and Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov signed a grain deal mediated by the United Nations in Istanbul.
"The Secretary-General is the witness of the Black Sea initiative, we expect to see the defense minister of the Russian Federation, defense minister of Turkey, and the infrastructure minister of Ukraine signing the deal," a senior UN official told a briefing before the signing of the deal.
During the meeting of the League of Arab States, Lavrov said that "In Istanbul, we managed to reach an agreement: Ukraine is engaged in mine clearance, and takes ships to the open sea, while Russia, Turkey, and another participant, which will be determined later, escort the ship to the Bosporus."
According to Russian FM, ships carrying grain from Ukraine would be escorted in the Black Sea by Russia, Turkey, and a third party that will be named later.