MOSCOW, April 28 — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday he hopes to reach an agreement with Ukraine diplomatically and that negotiations are underway and they do not reject them.
Speaking ahead of his meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Putin said Russia strongly supports the principles on which the UN is based and intends to do so in the future.
He said the negotiations in March with Ukraine in Istanbul, Turkey were a very serious breakthrough.
“But unfortunately, after reaching the agreement, after making it clear that we intend to create favorable conditions for the continuation of the negotiations, in Bucha, we were faced with a provocation that the Russian army had nothing to do with.”
“We know who prepared this provocation, who did it,” he was reported as saying by Anadolu Agency.
Pointing out that the Ukrainian negotiators’ attitudes toward a solution changed dramatically after the Bucha incident, Putin said that despite everything, the negotiations continue online and he still hopes for a positive result.
At least 2,729 civilians have been killed and 3,111 others injured in Ukraine since Russia launched its war on Feb 24, according to UN estimates. The true toll is feared to be much higher.