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Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Ukraine of “sabotage” negotiations between the two countries.
The Kremlin cited comments made during a 45-minute phone call with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer on Friday.
The Russian leader pledged to meet his natural gas delivery commitments and said he was ready to discuss a prisoner swap with Ukraine.
Russia said it reaffirmed its commitment to comply with contractual obligations relating to the supply of natural gas to Austria; the country gets 80% of its gas from Russia.
UKRAINE MUST FACE REALITY TO END CONFLICT, TALK TO PUTIN: ZELENSKYY
Nehammer said Putin also said he was ready to discuss the prisoner swap.
“Whether he is really ready to negotiate is a complex question,” he said, according to Reuters.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Friday that while Ukraine was not keen on having a dialogue with Putin, he understood that communication would be necessary to end the war.
“There are things to discuss with the Russian leader. I’m not telling you that for me our people are eager to talk to him, but we have to face the realities of what we are going through,” he said. .
UKRAINE’S ZELENSKYY CALLS FOR HELP TO PRESSURE RUSSIA ON PRISONER EXCHANGE
On Thursday, the Kremlin said it expects Ukraine to accept Russia’s demands and “understanding the real situation that exists de facto”.
Earlier, Zelenskyy called for outside help to pressure Russia over the prisoner swap.
“The exchange of people – it’s a humanitarian issue today and a very political decision that depends on the support of many states,” he said in a video Q&A at the World Economic Forum on Monday.
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“We don’t need Russian militarywe only need our own”, he noted then.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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