Putin ready for negotiations with Kiev in Minsk
Minsk previously remarked that any concession Ukraine makes with Russia is better than defeat.
According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Putin is ready to send a high-ranking delegation of officials to Minsk, Belarus, to hold negotiations with Ukraine.
"In response to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's request we're ready to send representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry and presidential administration for negotiations", he said.
In a video message posted by Zelensky, the Ukrainian president expressed openness to negotiations with Putin "to stop the death of people."
Lavrov, in response, said that Zelensky will be brought to the stage of negotiations after the Russian operation is completed, and as soon as the Ukrainian military lay down their arms.
On Thursday, Belarusian president Lukashenko weighed in on the conflict, and offered both sides to the negotiating table in Minsk.
Lukashenko stressed that it's important that the two sides avoid a full-scale war, and suggested that they hold negotiations in Minsk, believing that the talks can stop the conflict.
"We are Slavs, three Slavic peoples. Let's sit down and decide our fate for the future, forever. What is the basis of this? If I were Zelensky, I would cling to this. Putin said - and well done, I praised him for this in a conversation, - 'We are not occupants, we are not going to occupy Ukraine.' What else is needed? This is a basis for talks. He really is not going to occupy," Lukashenko said.
Kiev, according to Lukashenko, is losing - so it will need to make concessions to meet Russia's demands. To meet at the negotiating table, a number of premises need to be fulfilled: First would be the demilitarization of Ukraine, their refusal to join NATO, and the cessation of aggressions in Donbass.